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McGinley’s Ryder Cup diary under lock and key

'I want the players to know that what happens behind the scenes next year stays there and they can be free and open'. Picture: Getty

'I want the players to know that what happens behind the scenes next year stays there and they can be free and open'. Picture: Getty

PAUL McGinley has vowed not to cash in on his stint as Ryder Cup captain by writing a book detailing what goes on behind the scenes at Gleneagles.

Mark James and Paul Azinger are among the previous captains to have gone into print about their time in charge of Europe and the United States in 1999 and 2008 respectively, but McGinley will not follow suit.

“I want the players to know that what happens behind the scenes next year stays there and they can be free and open,” McGinley said yesterday. “I won’t write a book.”

McGinley was also careful not to reveal too much of what happened in the European team room in Chicago last year, when as vice-captain he witnessed first-hand the events which sparked the “Miracle at Medinah”.

Jose Maria Olazabal’s side trailed 10-4 on Saturday afternoon until Sergio Garcia and Luke Donald beat Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker and Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter saw off Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson on the 18th green to reduce the deficit. That led to Poulter’s famous comment to his team-mates that “We have a pulse” and the following day Europe completed a record comeback from 10-6 down to win by a single point and retain the trophy.

“We had a team meeting on Saturday night around 10pm which lasted for 20 minutes and if you had sat and 
observed a team that was four points behind, you would have come out and called your bookie to find out what their odds were,” McGinley added before receiving the 2013 PGA recognition award for his outstanding service and contribution to the game of golf.

“It was not a case of ‘Braveheart’ and standing on chairs but there was a feeling in the room that this was achievable.”

McGinley has been part of three winning Ryder Cup teams as a player, holing the winning putt at The Belfry in 2002 and then during the record nine-point victories at Oakland Hills in 2004 and the K Club in 2006.

But the Dubliner is grateful that he experienced the sensation of being well behind at Medinah as he looks to secure an eighth European win in the past ten contests next September.

“It was horrible to be on the receiving end of an American onslaught but that was such a wonderful Ryder Cup for me in terms of my experience point of view,” McGinley added. “We had never been behind the way we were at Medinah.

“I’m glad it happened that way because I have that experience to fall back on and I learned a lot from Jose Maria on Friday and Saturday night.”

McGinley also has the experience of playing a Ryder Cup on home soil in 2006 and wants to see some Scottish players on his team for Gleneagles, but has warned the likes of Paul Lawrie, Stephen Gallacher and Marc Warren that they must earn a place.

“I would love to see some Scots in the team but they have to give me a reason,” McGinley said.

“They performed well in the Seve Trophy earlier this year but have so far not picked up many qualifying points.”

If Lawrie fails to make the team, there is a strong suspicion he would be one of McGinley’s four vice-captains, with that decision not being made until May or June next year to give the possible team time to come into better focus.

McGinley was delighted to see Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald and Sergio Garcia pick up their first wins of the year recently and added: “I think those three wins will set them up nicely. They will enjoy their Christmas a bit more and come out with a spring in their step in the new year.”

 

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