Ryder captain to be named inside six weeks: Paul McGinley
The captain of Europe`s 2016 Ryder Cup team will be decided by the middle of February, according to outgoing skipper Paul McGinley.
London: The captain of Europe`s 2016 Ryder Cup team will be decided by the middle of February, according to outgoing skipper Paul McGinley.
The Irishman, a member of the five-man panel that will elect the next skipper, told Reuters in an interview at Wentworth Golf Club on the outskirts of London that the top players would have a big say in the decision-making process.
"We are pretty far down the road," said the 48-year-old McGinley. "I think within a maximum of six weeks we`ll have a new captain in place.
"The wheels will turn on another Ryder Cup and we`ll be getting ready for Hazeltine in two years` time."
The bookmakers have installed 2011 British Open champion Darren Clarke as the odds-on favourite to lead the side in Minnesota and McGinley said it was important for the panel to canvas the opinions of Europe`s leading golfers.
"You look mainly at who the players want when you are looking for the next captain," he added.
"One thing that`s worked in our favour over the years is that we have voted in captains that the players have wanted to play for."
McGinley was lauded by the entire team for the way he plotted the downfall of Tom Watson`s United States side in Scotland in September, Europe`s eighth victory in the last 10 editions of the biennial team event.
There is always a twinkle in his eye when his thoughts drift back to that special week at Gleneagles and the Irishman is hoping the vast majority of his team will be back in the side at Hazeltine.
"I`m pulling for all my players from Gleneagles to do well," said McGinley who is joined on the selection panel by 2010 captain Colin Montgomerie, 2012 skipper Jose Maria Olazabal and European Tour officials.
"They all did so well and I`d love to see them all having individual success. I`d like as many of them as possible to make the team again in two years` time."
Justin Rose, the 2013 U.S. Open winner, and Henrik Stenson formed the most successful pairing for Europe at Gleneagles and McGinley is particularly keen for the 38-year-old Swede to end his long wait for a first victory in a major championship.
"Henrik and Justin were arguably the best players at the Ryder Cup and it would be a shame if Henrik went through his entire career without winning a major," said the Irishman who is an ambassador for the specialist bank and asset manager Investec.
"But I have no doubts he will. He has proved himself at the top level, he`s won big tournaments all around the world.
"He has the game, he has the power and he has the mental capacity to win a major championship," said McGinley.
"Justin is continually improving year on year and he will certainly be a factor as well this year."
McGinley also expects world number one Rory McIlroy to come out firing on all cylinders when he begins his season at next week`s Abu Dhabi Championship alongside the second-ranked Stenson and number six Rose.
The Northern Irishman achieved back-to-back major wins in 2014, at the British Open and U.S. PGA Championship, and McGinley said there were many more victories ahead for McIlroy.
"What`s good about Rory is the great balance he has in his life," he explained. "He`s had a good winter off, he`s enjoyed himself and will come back fresh and invigorated for a new year of golf."