London: The leadership skills Paul McGinley displayed at the Seve Trophy last week have made the Irishman the leading candidate to captain Europe`s Ryder Cup team in 2014, according to former skipper Bernard Gallacher.
The 62-year-old Scot said he was highly impressed with the way McGinley`s Britain and Ireland side overcame Jean van de Velde`s Continental Europe team in Versailles.
"Paul looks like a natural choice as captain for Gleneagles in 2014," Gallacher said in a telephone interview.
"We found from the Seve Trophy that Paul is a Ryder Cup captain in waiting. He was very good."
Jose Maria Olazabal will skipper Europe in Illinois in 2012 but Gallacher believes McGinley has all the right credentials to take over from the Spaniard for the next edition of the biennial team event in Scotland.
"Britain and Ireland were underdogs at the Seve Trophy because the European team on paper looked a lot stronger," said the 1991, 1993 and 1995 Ryder Cup captain.
"Paul did a great job winning the match. The players all seem to respect him, they like him and he says all the right things."
McGinley, 44, also appears to have the Midas touch as far as the Ryder Cup goes. He played in the event in 2002, 2004 and 2006 and Europe beat United States on each occasion.
The Irishman holed the winning putt at The Belfry nine years ago and was also one of skipper Colin Montgomerie`s vice-captains when Europe won again at Celtic Manor in Wales in 2010.
"Paul knows what the Ryder Cup is all about, the passion of it, and he`s performed well in it as a player," said Gallacher.
"He is articulate and clever so he ticks all the boxes for a future captain," added Gallacher who is an ambassador for next week`s Nespresso Trophy amateur event to be held at Archerfield Links in his native Scotland.
Montgomerie has said that he would take the job again at Gleneagles if he was approached by the European Tour but Gallacher believes that is unlikely to happen.
"Colin has been a successful captain before and I think that`s it (for him)," said Gallacher who was a gritty Ryder Cup competitor himself during his long playing career and also picked up 10 tour victories.
"I don`t think Colin will be asked to be captain and, secretly, I don`t think he expects to be made captain.
"I also don`t think it is necessary for the job to go to a Scot at Gleneagles. It didn`t go to an Irishman in 2006 when it was held there, it went to a Welshman in Ian Woosnam," Gallacher added.
"There are others waiting in the wings to do a good job. You`ve also got guys like Thomas Bjorn and Darren Clarke lined up.
"They are potential captains too so it shows we are quite well off for the next few Ryder Cup matches."