How to be the perfect European Ryder Cup Captain


Paul McGinley’s inspirational leadership made a mockery of the idea that Ryder Cup captains don’t matter, and in doing so changed the role forever. From now on, Ryder Cup Europe and the PGA of America will look for captains with the following qualities.

1. Experience
“I made the natural progression from player to vice-captain to captain,” reveals McGinley. 

2. Focus
McGinley wasn’t distracted by how he was playing or the latest course he was designing. “The masterplan began the morning he was given the job,” reveals vice-captain Sam Torrance.

3. Diligence
“Paul was meticulous and left no stone unturned,” praises Rory McIlroy.

4. Speechmaking (in English)
Various reports claimed McGinley took elocution lessons in the build-up to Gleneagles. He didn’t, but he did learn how to structure speeches so they had maximum effect. 

5. Number crunching
McGinley’s pairings didn’t come from his gut. They came from the performance analysis statistics a data firm collated for him. “You can’t get enough information,” states McGinley. “It’s arrogant to think you know the answers.”

6. Ingenuity
The motivational team-room posters and blue and yellow fish didn’t just ‘happen to be there’. “I wanted everything to symbolise our coming together,” says McGinley. 

7. Influence
McGinley persuaded Sir Alex Ferguson to give a talk and the European Tour to manipulate tee times, so his prospective pairings could play together. 

8. Respect
“Paul commanded huge respect in the team room and was the best captain I’ve played under,” says Graeme McDowell.


The Top Contenders:

How Europe’s leading men stack up

clarke Jimenez Bjorn

Darren Clarke

Odds: 1/4

Miguel Angel Jimenez

Odds: 11/2

Thomas Bjorn

Odds: 10/1

Clarke Jimenez Bjorn
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