Ryder Cup: Tom Watson congratulates new European captain Paul McGinley
By Paul Higham Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH. Last Updated: 15/01/13 11:55pm
Tom Watson: Ready for McGinley clash at Gleneagles
American Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson has congratulated his newly-selected opposite number Paul McGinley on his appointment as European skipper.
Watson was the surprise choice of the Americans, who are keen to make amends for their Medinah meltdown by taking the Ryder Cup away from Europe on home soil in Gleneagles in 2014.
That choice of a 'big name' US skipper prompted Colin Montgomerie's name to appear as a candidate alongside McGinley and Darren Clarke - who soon pulled out of the race.
In the end though, committee chairman Thomas Bjorn says it was a unanimous decision to select McGinley as the man to take on Watson in Scotland, and the veteran American was quick to congratulate his future opponent.
"I congratulate Paul McGinley upon his selection as the next European Ryder Cup captain and anticipate that his passion and love of the event will transfer to being an outstanding leader of his team in 2014 at Gleneagles," said Watson.
"Paul has been connected to four winning European Ryder Cup teams and is an outstanding representative of European golf. I look forward to sharing the stage with him as we make our journey to Scotland."
PGA of America president Ted Bishop, who was in charge of their choice of Watson, also added his congratulations to McGinley upon his selection.
"The PGA of America congratulates Paul McGinley as Europe's next Ryder Cup captain. I will never forget the scene at The Belfry in 2002 when Paul holed a putt on the 18th hole to halve Jim Furyk which won the Ryder Cup for Europe and his subsequent celebratory dive into the neighboring pond," said Bishop.
"Images of an emotional Paul with the Irish flag wrapped around his body is something I will always remember. We join our partners and friends across the Atlantic in preparing for what should be one of the greatest chapters in Ryder Cup history."
Watson also tweeted calling McGinley 'a class act', and the new European skipper responded by voicing his admiration for the eight-time major winner.
"Tom Watson is a guy I don't know really well but he's a really good guy, he's everything that stands good about golf and I think I'll learn a lot from him as well.
"He's got a great affinity with not only the Scottish people but the Irish as well so he's a real legend of the game."