Ryder Cup: McGinley urges Scots to turn up volume

PAUL McGinley, the European captain, has urged Scottish fans to turn up the volume for Stephen Gallacher and his team-mates at next week’s Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.

45,000 fans are set to head for the Perthshire venue. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Having played in the match on home soil himself – he was one of three Irishman on the winning team at The K Club in 2006 – McGinley knows the importance of a vociferous support.

With 45,000 fans set to head for the Perthshire venue for next Friday’s start against Tom Watson’s side, he is hoping what will predominantly be a Scottish crowd make themselves heard.

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“What I’m looking for is an environment that’s going to elevate the players to play to a different level,” said McGinley during a visit to the ISPS Handa Wales Open at Celtic Manor, where Gallacher is one of four European team members in action. “I always enjoyed feeding off the crowd when I was a player in the Ryder Cup, particularly playing at home, where the noise level and the people pulling for you can really elevate you. It certainly elevated me, particularly at The Belfry for my first Ryder Cup [when he holed the winning putt for Sam Torrance’s team in 2002].

“The tighter things got, the more security you had because the crowd was so much in my favour and incredibly passionate.”

Gallacher, who will generate the loudest cheer when he steps on to the first tee for his Ryder Cup debut, has played two practice rounds on the PGA Centenary Course since his wildcard selection. However, McGinley is pleased that the 39-year-old has escaped the spotlight for a few days and believes playing in Wales along with Lee Westwood, Thomas Bjorn and Jamie Donaldson is a smart move.

“I can connect with Stephen in terms of having been lucky enough to play a Ryder Cup in my home country,” he added. “I know what it’s like and I’m really happy he’s gone out of Scotland, where it’s manic.”