Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Player power wins as McGinley beats Monty to Ryder Cup captaincy

updated 2:22 PM EST, Tue January 15, 2013
Paul McGinley (R) captained Rory McIlroy in the Seve Trophy in 2009 when GB & Ireland took on Continental Europe
Paul McGinley (R) captained Rory McIlroy in the Seve Trophy in 2009 when GB & Ireland took on Continental Europe
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Paul McGinley named European Ryder Cup captain for 2014 clash in Scotland
  • Players had backed Irishman instead of 2010 captain Colin Montgomerie
  • Rory McIlroy, Ian Poulter and Luke Donald all threw weight behind McGinley
  • McGinley was vice captain to Jose Maria Olazabal during Europe's win in 2012

(CNN) -- He had the firm backing of world No. 1 Rory McIlroy as well as Europe's Ryder Cup talisman Ian Poulter, and on Tuesday night it was made official -- Paul McGinley will captain the continent against the United States in 2014.

Despite a late bid from successful 2010 captain Colin Montgomerie, who was keen to do the job on home soil in Scotland, player power won out as the Irishman was confirmed at a press conference in Abu Dhabi.

The 46-year-old played in three winning Ryder Cup teams and holed the clinching putt for Europe during the 2002 clash at The Belfry, in England.

McGinley was trumpeted for the role by McIlroy several times on Monday, and also by English duo Poulter -- one of Europe's heroes who inspired their dramatic comeback in Chicago last year -- and former world No.1 Luke Donald.

Read: Nike unveils Rory McIlroy: Tiger's heir apparent

McIlroy said Montgomerie -- an eight-time European Order of Merit winner -- had "nothing to gain" by reprising his role and McGinley told reporters he was proud to be the first ever Irish Ryder Cup captain.

Europe's Medinah miracle
Tom Watson named Ryder Cup captain
Golfer Rory McIlroy signs with Nike
McIlroy discusses his Ryder Cup match
Exclusive: Tiger and Rory's 'bromance'

He said: "I'm obviously absolutely thrilled and delighted to lead the team with the strongest, in-depth European Tour in history; to be leading the cream of the crop is a huge honor.

"I knew I had the strong backing of the players. I thought the more I would say the more my chances would lessen. I watched with interest in the last few weeks as my chances went up and down like a yo-yo.

"To be honest it is quite a humbling experience to be sitting in this seat. It's a week I'm really looking forward to. I've been there many times as a player and as a vice captain but I'm looking forward to being a captain."

Europe has won five of the last six installments of the biannual team competition, including a stunning comeback victory at the last meeting in Chicago last year, when McGinley was vice captain to Jose Maria Olazabal.

Despite taking a big 10-6 lead into the final day singles matches, the U.S were stunned by a European comeback as the visitors won 14½ to 13½ in what has become known as 'the Miracle of Medinah.'

McIlroy was one of the European stars, alongside Poulter, and McGinley said the backing he got from the world's best player was a big factor in him getting the job.

"Its humbling when the new star of world golf comes out in your favor," he said. "That means a lot to me.

"There's a couple of good things that have happened for me in terms of getting this role. One of those is Rory and Graeme McDowell (2010 U.S. Open champion) played in the 2009 Seve Trophy, which was my first captaincy.

"I had the opportunity of captaining him, and Rory and Graeme were huge for me that week. I was fortunate I had that situation where Rory played underneath me and that's why he spoke with such authority on the subject."

After their painful defeat in Chicago the U.S. turned to one of the game's greatest ever players, Tom Watson, who was the last man to captain a winning United States team on European soil back in 1993.

Read: McIlroy backs McGinley for Ryder Cup captain

McGinley said he was honored to be squaring up against the eight-time major winner.

He added: "I'm relishing the thought of taking on one of my great heroes in Tom Watson. Not only is he a wonderful person, he's a great ambassador for the game of golf and has been for a long time. It's going to be a real thrill for me."

Players' Committee chairman Thomas Bjorn said they had listened to the voices of their members and that it became very clear early on in the meeting that McGinley was their preferred choice.

European Tour chief exec George O'Grady added: "It's a wonderful achievement for Paul. It was a unanimous decision of the players' committee and was testimony to the democracy of the process."

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 12:09 PM EDT, Mon September 15, 2014
CNN's Living Golf focuses on women's golf, charting the growth of the sport from royal pastime to multi-million dollar machine.
updated 4:46 AM EDT, Wed October 1, 2014
"I don't know how to paint happy," says golf's poster girl Michelle Wie. "I think it releases a lot of the darker feelings in me."
updated 8:13 AM EDT, Mon September 29, 2014
Phil Mickelson of the United States talks during a press conference after the United States were defeated by Europe after the Singles Matches of the 2014 Ryder Cup on the PGA Centenary course at the Gleneagles Hotel on September 28, 2014 in Auchterarder, Scotland.
If you're a U.S. golf fan, or Tom Watson, look away now.
updated 7:18 PM EDT, Thu September 25, 2014
A ban on uploading social media pictures from the course at Gleneagles was dropped for the Ryder Cup.
updated 6:52 AM EDT, Wed September 24, 2014
A spot of shopping, the odd spa day and some serious flag waving. Welcome to the life of a Ryder Cup WAG.
updated 9:01 AM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
Tom Watson has learned plenty in the 21 years since he was last U.S. Ryder Cup captain, but social media is proving to be problematic.
updated 8:43 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Patriotism will reach fever pitch when the USA and Europe collide in golf's Ryder Cup ... and it looks like Rickie Fowler has let it go to his head.
updated 9:42 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Pressure is inescapable in the cauldron of Ryder Cup competition -- pressure and ping pong.
updated 7:50 AM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
Millions of golf fans were watching on television with great anticipation. All Martin Kaymer could think about was getting his phone out.
updated 7:40 AM EDT, Fri September 12, 2014
She's just 19 but Hyo Joo Kim is already showing she's ready for the big time after recording the lowest ever round at a major championship.
updated 7:31 AM EDT, Fri September 12, 2014
EVIAN-LES-BAINS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 15: A view of the 14th green during the third round of The Evian Championship at the Evian Resort Golf Club on September 15, 2013 in Evian-les-Bains, France. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
The world's top women golfers will be chasing a $3.25 million prize purse at one of the most stunning courses on the LPGA Tour.
ADVERTISEMENT