Paul McGinley is right man to be Europe's captain in Ryder Cup, says Butch Harmon

Last Updated: 18/01/13 5:05pm

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Butch Harmon believes that Paul McGinley is the right man to lead Europe in the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles next year.

McGinley becomes the first Irishman to be named Europe's Ryder Cup captain, and Harmon believes he was the overwhelming choice of the European players.

"I think they've picked a man that the players really wanted to be their captain," said Sky Sports pundit Harmon. "I think that's very important."

"Paul is still a prominent player on the Tour so he's close to all the players and has a personal relationship with them."
Butch Harmon

"From what I understand and what I've read on Twitter and all over the internet, all the current Ryder cup players were in favour of Paul being the captain so I think they have picked the right person."

Harmon emphasised the importance of the team nature of the Ryder Cup and believes McGinley's experience with the European players was a main reason for the support he received.


"I think you need a person that understands the team aspect, that understands how the pairings are going to work and how important personalities are.

"I think McGinley is a great captain as he's played on three Ryder Cups, he's been a vice-captain on two of them, he's captained the Seve Trophy two different times and most importantly, he had 100 percent commitment from all the players.

"He gets it and he's still a prominent player on the Tour so he's close to all the players and has a personal relationship with them.

"The U.S. team made a big step in picking someone as old as Tom Watson who's a little out of touch with some of the young players, so we'll see how that works out."

With talk earlier in the week that Colin Montgomerie could become European skipper for the second time, Harmon thinks it right that someone else has been given the chance.

"Monty was a great captain when we were in Wales (Celtic Manor in 2010); he did a fantastic job at a very controversial Ryder Cup," Harmon added. "All the players came behind and supported him and I think they will do the same to McGinley."

We also garnered the views of some other prominent golfing voices on McGinley's appointment as captain, including:

Sam Torrance - Europe's 2002 Ryder Cup-winning captain

"The fact Paul got the support of McIlroy, Donald and Poulter on Twitter befofe the announcemnt was made speaks volumes for what they think of him. He has the pedigree, he has the respect of the players, he's meticulous, he's a great orator and I see him as being a humongously successful captain. Montgomerie lives on the golf course and he's a Scotsman, so it would have looked good on paper if he had got the nod, but the most important criteria for the Ryder Cup captaincy is to be the right man for the job and I think McGinley is. He's still on tour with the players and playing virtually every tournament with them so he can create a bond with his team during the whole qualifying period."

Mark Roe - Sky Sports pundit and three-time European Tour winner

"This is a tremendous selection as Paul is very popular with the players and it is important those guys go into the matches with a captain they want to play for and a captain they respect. I believe he'll be a great captain as he has strength of presence, the experience of playing on three winning teams and vice-captaining two. Paul will do it his own way but he's not afraid to ask questions and will feed off the positive experiences he's had as a player and vice-captain. He's a strong character and he's definitely qualified for the job. It's an excellent choice, the right decision has been made and the Ryder Cup is in safe hands with Tom Watson and McGinley, they're both gentlemen."

Rob Lee - Sky Sports pundit and two-time European Tour winner

"Paul is going to bring a lot to the team; he hasn't captained in the Ryder Cup before but he has been a vice-captain before a couple of times and played in three Ryder Cup sides, so he has been all over team-play for most of his life. He will provide experience, he is a good observer of life and will have seen ways to do things - and not do things. If Europe get beaten at Glenegales it won't be BECAUSE he is captain. Darren Clarke said after Tom Watson was appointed as US captain that we might need a more heavyweight name as captain, which is what I think got Monty back in the frame, but I think it would have been an enormous mistake to react to what America did as it is not the captains that hit the shots it's the players, so I am glad Paul has got the gig; he has paid his dues and I'm sure he will do a very good job."

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