Rory McIlroy wants players to decide on Ryder Cup captain after Paul McGinley campaign
By Paul Higham Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH. Last Updated: 15/01/13 10:02pm
Rory McIlroy hopes the way future Ryder Cup captains are chosen can include more player influence after he successfully led the campaign to give Paul McGinley the nod for 2014.
McGinley had long been a front-runner but Tom Watson's selection by America seemed to take Europe by surprise and had many scrambling for a big name to take him on - which led to Colin Montgomerie coming back into contention.
McIlroy though has been strongly behind McGinley for some time, and in recent interviews and Twitter posts he voiced his opinion time and time again - fully aware that as world number one he could have a big influence.
McGinley Ryder Cup record:
Caps: 3 (2002-04-06)
Matches: 9 (4 foursomes, 2 fourballs, 3 singles)
Wins: 2 (1 foursomes, 1 singles)
Halved: 5 (2 fourballs, 1 foursomes, 2 singles)
Lost: 2 (2 foursomes)
Ian Poulter, Luke Donald and Padraig Harrington had all also backed McGinley, and McIlroy says he hoped his opinion had helped with the selection, while adding he thinks the whole process could be changed after this year.
"He'll be great," McIlroy said about McGinley. "I have a very strong opinion about this. I really think Paul deserves it. I don't mind it being a David and Goliath situation in terms of the captains. It's won on the course, not on the stage."
On his Twitter campaign, McIlroy admitted: "I knew they'd have some influence, 28 hours ago Monty was the favourite - I guess I've got a little bit of influence, but it also just goes to show the power of Twitter in a way.
"But it wasn't just me, Luke Donald came out in support, Ian Poulter, Graeme McDowell, Justin rose, so the bulk of the European team really.
"They were talking in the press conference there about it and I think the way the Ryder Cup captain is selected in the future may change because of this. I don't think it should just be up to the committee I think it should be up to players, ex-players and players that'll be close to the team."
Harrington agreed, saying that player power had certainly played a part in handing the job to McGinley, who he was also delighted about seeing as the first Irish Ryder Cup captain.
"Paul will be excellent captain" said Harrington. "Everything says he'll be a great captain. He loves team events, he's really into this a little bit like Monty - the Ryder Cup is a big think in his life and his career and it really does mean a lot to him.
"It was clear the players who are potentially going to be playing wanted him as captain and that's not any slight against Monty at all. Monty was a great captain and did a great job when he was there, but the guys just realise it's time to give someone else a go
"I think one of the key things here is that it means so much to Paul - he holed the winning putt in a Ryder Cup and much of his career and CV is based on the Ryder Cup so it's a tremendous accolade and obviously he's the first Irish captain so all the Irish guys are delighted."