Paul McGinley: European Ryder Cup skipper discusses his vice-captain selections

Torrance and Smyth will bring energy and knowhow to the team

Last Updated: 18/03/14 3:54pm

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Paul McGinley's backroom staff for the 2014 Ryder Cup is taking shape, with Sam Torrance and Des Smyth named as the first two vice-captains for the showdown with America.

In the latest of his monthly Q&A's, McGinley revealed why he opted for Torrance and Smith and explained why he will not pick any further assistants until his playing roster has been settled.


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The Irishman will get to see potential members of his team next week, when a European squad, including Graeme McDowell, Thomas Bjorn and Thorbjorn Olesesn, journeys to Malaysia to tackle an Asian outfit in the EurAsia Cup.

And McGinley revealed why that tournament will be key to his Ryder Cup preparations... Hi again, Paul. Your Ryder Cup vice-captain picks were announced last week. Why was Sam Torrance one of them?

PAUL McGINLEY: Everyone knows Sam made a big impression on me when he was Ryder Cup captain at The Belfry in 2002, not just because we won but by the way he managed the team and created an environment. He was very brave but astute with his tactics, and he lives and breathes the Ryder Cup. He will bring a great surge of energy into the team room. And Des Smyth?

PM: I first met Des when I was about 16 and he has become a great friend of mine. When I came on Tour he was very much a mentor, not just to me but all the young guys, and he has been proved correct on so many occasions with his views regarding players and Ryder Cups. He has sound judgment and is somebody I can really rely on.

"September 2 is when my wildcard selections will be announced and I won't be making any vice-captaincy announcements until at least then."
Paul McGinley Will you definitely have four vice-captains?

PM: I haven't set that in stone yet but the perceived wisdom is to have four. I want to draw a line under the other vice-captains until the team is picked, though. September 2 is when my wildcard selections will be announced and I won't be making any Ryder Cup vice-captaincy announcements until at least then. I want everybody to focus on making the team. Are you fully in Ryder Cup mode now?

PM: It is still evolving and I'm still dealing with what I have in front of me. I am getting ready for the Masters and will be at Augusta for the event, while I am also watching the players in the Florida Swing, as well as keeping tabs on the European Tour. I also played in Morocco last week, so I am keeping my eyes and ears open on all the golf.

Fifty-year-old Jimenez is eager to play in a fourth Ryder Cup You will be attending the EurAsia Cup, too. What do you hope to glean from that?

PM: The EurAsia Cup will be a huge learning curve for me and I'm really looking forward to it. There are a lot of potential Ryder Cup players in the European squad and I can't wait to see how Victor Dubuisson fares in a team environment as he didn't play in the Seve Trophy last year. Miguel Angel Jimenez is a playing captain and I will enjoy catching up with him, firstly to see how he sees things as a skipper, and secondly as he very much has designs on being a player in the Ryder Cup. Alejandro Canizares won the Trophy Hassan II last week. Does that create a nice selection headache for you?

PM: Alex's win has put him on the periphery of the team and I've always said that if a guy is not in the top 50 in the world but is still playing well he will be under careful consideration. It's important, though, for guys like Alex to push on from good performances and have strong summers to give themselves an opportunity to be picked. And finally, this week sees the Arnold Palmer Invitational being staged. What did Palmer do for golf?

PM: The one word that comes to mind when I hear the name Arnold Palmer is charisma. Arnold brought golf to the masses, made it accessible and trendy, and opened it up to huge amounts of people. The game has a lot to thank him for.

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