McGinley and Clarke Vie for 2014 Captaincy

By Brian Keogh


Brian Keogh is a golf correspondent for The Irish Sun and a contributor to The Irish Times, Golf Digest Ireland and other golf publications. The following excerpt from Brian’s Irish Golf Desk is used with permission.

McGinley and Clarke Vie for 2014 Captaincy 1
Paul McGinley

PAUL MCGINLEY AND DARREN CLARKE WILL have to battle it out for the 2014 Ryder Cup captaincy in Scotland. But if world No 1 Rory McIlroy had his way, he’d give Clarke the job in America in 2016, indirectly backing McGinley to take over from Jose Maria Olazabal at Gleneagles in two years’ time.

McIlroy said: “I’ve always said I think Clarkey would be a great captain over here in America. I think the crowds really love him here and I think he would be great, so maybe save Darren for 2016. And then for the captain next time around there are a lot of guys who have a chance to do it. Whoever ends up doing it would be a great captain.

“Paul was fantastic at the Seve Trophy and he was a fantastic vice captain. As Jose Maria said, all the vice captains this week have all got their own opinions but collectively they are very knowledgeable.”

Clarke has made no secret of the fact that he’d take the job at Gleneagles if it came his way. But McGinley is prepared to take his chances when it goes to a vote of the Players Committee in Dubai in January with Chairman Thomas Bjorn, Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez and 2010 skipper Colin Montgomerie also in the frame.

All five are on the Committee and McGinley said: “It’s not up to me, it’s up to other people. I’ll just wait and see what happens. I’ve done five Ryder Cups now, three as a player and two as a vice-captain and I certainly have enjoyed them. I’m on the committee and obviously won’t be at that meeting. Anybody whose being considered for the captaincy will not be.”

Given his pedigree, McGinley must be regarded as the best man for the job in Scotland following two winning vice-captaincies at Medinah and Celtic Manor as well as two stints as the winning captain of the Seve Trophy team.

Like Chicago hero Ian Poulter, the Ryder Cup and team play have been the highlight of his career. And he’d dearly love the chance to put his vast experience into practice in Scotland in 2014.

Brian Keogh covers golf for The Irish Sun and contributes to a variety of golf publications. Pay him a visit at Irish Golf Desk.

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Neil Sagebiel

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