Just as pleasing as seeing his European team win so impressively at Gleneagles, however, was witnessing the bond he helped create among 12 players in Perthshire as they piled on American agony in the biennial bout.
“When I went home on Monday and the girls (his two daughters) were off doing their things, I sat with Killian for half an hour and watched How the Ryder Cup Was Won,” revealed McGinley.
“Straightaway, I got that sense of bonding – I could see the players’ body language with each other. I could see the caddie involvement, the vice captains being part of it. I could see the crowd interaction. That half hour of watching the highlights was probably the most emotional I was all last week. That for me was confirmation of so many things I wanted – we nailed it as a team. To see that was the equivalent of lifting the cup on the stage on the Sunday night.”
That bonding was also apparent to McGinley when he picked up Tuesday’s newspapers to see world No 1 Rory McIlroy, in a mini kilt and wearing a red wig, arm in arm with Stephen Gallacher.
“That picture summarises it for me,” added the Irishman as he prepared to return to his ‘day job’ in the Dunhill Links Championship. “Stevie and Rory live different lives. Rory is in a stratosphere nobody is close to; Stevie is a local boy who has had an incredibly great year to make the Ryder Cup team. And there he was with the superstar that Rory McIlroy is. The two of them were so comfortable in each other’s company. That’s special.”
McGinley revealed loads of people had come up to him at Heathrow en route to Scotland yesterday. He was delighted, though, that they weren’t necessarily patting him on the back. “People were coming up and saying ‘thank you’ rather than offering congratulations and that’s everything I wanted the Ryder Cup to be,” he declared.