There was white smoke with a tinge of green at today’s meeting of the European Tour tournament committee in Dubai as Paul McGinley was announced the European Ryder Cup captain.
The 46-year-old was odds-on favorite to lead Europe in defense of their crown at the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.
Up until very recently the battle for captaincy looked to be contested between McGinley and fellow Irish golfer and friend Darren Clarke. However, the 44-year-old Dungannon man has withdrawn from the race, leaving McGinley as the sole runner.
2012 Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie had also entered the frame for a second bite at the role but, crucially, McGinely had the backing of golfers Rory McIroy, Ian Poulter and Luke Donald.
The trio, who may well be the backbone of Europe’s next team, have insisted the popular former Ryder Cup vice-captain be given his chance to lead Europe, lauding the Dublin man’s tactics, professionalism and calmness during the madness of last year’s ‘Miracle in Medina’ final-day triumph.
McGinely has never lost as a player or assistant in the Ryder Cup and, when the world number one and world number three are backing you to make the grade, it’s inadvisable for the ETTC to swim against the tide and appoint an alternative.
“Common sense prevailed in the end. … Paul McGinley 2014 European Ryder Cup captain!!! Couldn’t be happier for him. … Roll on Gleneagles,” Rory McIlroy tweeted.