Winning McGinley ready to hand over the reins

If Irish hero Paul McGinley has one more task as the winning Ryder Cup captain, it’s to find the next one.

Then the ever-smiling little Irishman can hand over the reins to golf’s biggest stage to whoever wants the next challenge of continuing Europe’s amazing Cup winning streak.

Paul McGinley Winning 2014 Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley (Credit: www.golffile.ie)

McGinley feels he’s now ready for the next stage of his life.

And at this stage the Ryder Cup doesn’t figure in that direction.

For the moment he’s been basking in the glory and rather than accepting congratulations for everyone as he headed for the Dunhill Links Championship last week, found himself being thanked by all and sundry he encountered along the way.

Despite rumours of a rift between he and Darren Clarke, McGinley said he would be considered, along with any other candidates, in the same light for the next captain’s role.

“I’m part of the decision making process and I certainly can’t show any favouritism to one over another,” he said.

“To be honest, I’m still caught up on the euphoria of last week and haven’t even got my head thinking around going forward, Ryder Cups or anything like that.”

“Over the next few months, I’ll be gathering information and having discussions with people and forming opinions, but I can’t make that public.”

“That wouldn’t be right.”

McGinley has now been “involved” in six Ryder Cups – for six wins and admits he feels luckier than most.

“I’ve gone from a player to a vice captain to a captain,” he said.

“I’ve been six out of six. I’ve been very lucky that I’ve had six such great experiences. I’m very happy to help going forward in an unofficial capacity.”

When American reporters probed for McGinley’s captaincy secrets and his differing style from US captain Tom Watson, the Irishman did reveal an insight into his team’s bonding secrets.

“Some regulars here would understand a bit about Gaelic football but that’s where it comes from,” he said.

“In Ireland we have a sport called Gaelic football and hurling.”

“Ireland has 32 counties and you can only play for the county you’re born in, no transfers, and it’s an amateur game. You get 80,000 people at the final stages.”

“That was my upbringing up to the age of nine. That was my sport. Golf was something I did in the summer for three months.”

“But Gaelic football is an incredibly passionate sport because you play for your people.”

“You grew up in a town or village and play for that town or village, and if you’re lucky enough and go [well] enough you go on to play for your county and you wear the county colours.”

“So you go and represent your county and the people watching you are the people that you grew up with, the people you went to school with, girlfriends, parents, cousin, aunties, that sense of community, is what happens in Gaelic football.”

“I have that embedded in me and ingrained in me…that sense of belonging and that sense of bonding with people is very, very important for me and I’ve had it at a very young age.”

No-one would argue McGinley did a fair job of introducing that to his Ryder Cup team as well…and it stood out as his Europeans lifted one another to victory.