European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley is given a boxed Hickory Putter from 1880 by Scotland's First Minister, Alex Salmond (Getty Images)
Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond today welcomed Paul McGinley, the captain of The 2014 European Ryder Cup team to Scotland on his first visit to the country since he was appointed.
The pair met at Bute House in Edinburgh, before McGinley travelled to Gleneagles for the first time since he was asked to lead Europe against the United States in 18 months’ time.
The duo discussed the on-going planning for next year’s event, which is forecast to generate more than £100m for the Scottish economy and attract more than 250,000 spectators during tournament week.
And Mr Salmond offered his best wishes to the Irishman, as he prepares to lead a European team in a Ryder Cup held in Scotland for the first time in 40 years.
The First Minister, who gave McGinley a gift of a boxed Hickory Putter from 1880, said: “I am absolutely delighted to welcome Paul back to the Home of Golf as he makes his first visit to Scotland as the European Ryder Cup captain.
“Paul has an enviable record in Ryder Cups, having never been on the losing side in the tournament and as a European golf fan I well remember his nerveless winning putt – and exuberant celebrations – at the Belfry in 2002!
“It is clear that the captaincy of the European Team is in terrific hands, and as excitement builds for the 2014 event at Gleneagles, I look forward to working with Paul, his team and all of our partners to ensure that we stage the best ever Ryder Cup.”
McGinley said: “I’m delighted to finally arrive in Scotland for the first time since being named captain for Gleneagles in 2014 and to have received such a warm welcome from the First Minister, Alex Salmond.
“I know a lot of work has already been undertaken in the last few years by a great team of people in preparation for 2014 and I am very much looking forward to being a part of that and making the event a great success.”