PAUL Lawrie, a member of the winning European team at Medinah two years ago, has expressed “extreme disappointment” at being overlooked as one of Paul McGinley’s five vice-captains for this month’s Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.
McGinley has added fellow Irishman Padraig Harrington and Spanish duo José María Olazabal and Miguel Angel Jimenez to his backroom team, having already appointed Sam Torrance and Des Smyth as two assistants earlier in the year.
It adds up to an impressive body of men in terms of Ryder Cup experience, but, a day after Stephen Gallacher earned one of his wildcards, McGinley’s decision on this occasion resulted in a blow for Lawrie.
The 1999 Open champion had seemed an obvious candidate to provide support to the European captain after failing to hang on to his place in the team, but McGinley has decided otherwise.
Responding to the news, Lawrie said: “I’m extremely disappointed not to be involved at Gleneagles. I’ve known for some time my game wasn’t up to playing but thought I would have been involved in the backroom team. But I would like to wish everyone the best of luck and hope Europe do the business again.”
McGinley, the first Irishman to hold the captaincy, believes he has both the playing personnel and backroom team in place to retain the trophy in Perthshire from 26-28 September.
“I am delighted to name Padraig, Miguel and José María as the men to join Des and Sam in completing my vice-captaincy team for Gleneagles,” he said. “They will all bring valuable insight and experience to the players and the team room.
“I know it’s been common in the past to have three or four vice-captains, but I’ve gone for five because I feel an extra person is justified due to the additional workload which comes from being the home team.”