Ryder Cup: Paul McGinley anticipating tight contest at Gleneagles in 2014

Last Updated: 27/02/13 3:45pm

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European captain Paul McGinley is expecting another close Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in 2014.

McGinley, visiting the Scottish course for the first time since his appointment, thinks the United States have been unfortunate in the last two contests, both of which Europe won by a single point.

The Americans have responded to those defeats by bringing back Tom Watson as skipper, the 63-year-old having tasted success in the role at The Belfry back in 1993.

"We've been very fortunate in the last two Ryder Cups to get over the line by a point on each occasion. I think again it has all the ingredients of a very, very close Ryder Cup."
Paul McGinley

"The line is very slight between the two teams," McGinley told Sky Sports. "I'm very much aware of that and I'm also aware that Tom Watson will certainly up the ante on their side.

"I'm looking forward to the prospect of being involved with Tom Watson and leading a European team that I'm sure will be very strong as well."

Local hero

Watson won four of his five Open Championships in Scotland and remains immensely popular among the country's golf fans.

McGinley said: "There is not doubt that Tom is a major, iconic figure in world golf and is synonymous with success everywhere he's been, as a player and as an ex-Ryder Cup captain.

"He will bring a lot of support with him and has a great affinity with the Scottish people. I'm aware he will be a very formidable opponent in terms of captaincy, and also his team are going to be a very strong team.

"We've been very fortunate in the last two Ryder Cups to get over the line by a point on each occasion. I think again it has all the ingredients of a very, very close Ryder Cup."

Qualification

McGinley can propose changes to Europe's qualification system but says he is unlikely to stray too far from the formula that served his predecessor Jose Maria Olazabal well in 2012.

He said: "We've had great success over the last decade or two in Ryder Cups and I'm very much along the lines of: 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it.'

"Having said that, I may just make one or two tweaks. We'll have to see about that, I'm still doing a bit of research, speaking to a few people about what their are ideas are. I'll formulate my ideas shortly but safe to say I won't be straying too far off the path of the last couple of years."

McGinley plans to have four vice captains and is casting his net far and and wide for potential candidates.

"As the Ryder Cup gets closer and the team starts to formulate, I'll start to bring that (shortlist of) 20, 25 down to four vice captains," he explained.

"This time next year I'll be able to give you a better idea of which direction I'm going in."

Course

McGinley is open to the idea of making changes to the set-up of the Gleneagles course to suit Europe's players but will wait until nearer the time before making any firm decisions.

"It is the home team's prerogative to set up the golf course to give themselves the best opportunity of winning," said the Irishman.

"If I think there is something that I can do to help our team, in terms of setting up the golf course, I'm going to take advantage. That's what home advantage is.

"We'll have to see. As the team formulates, this time next year, and we see the kind of players that possibly could be in the European and American teams, I may just tweak things one way or the other."

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