Ryder Cup Captain Paul McGinley insists he is ready to be ruthless when required as he looks to lead Europe to an eighth victory in the last ten contests at Gleneagles next year.
McGinley has been a popular member of previous teams both as a player and vice captain, but the Irishman insists his affable nature does not mean he will be afraid to take the tough decisions which undoubtedly lie ahead.
“I understand that along the journey that all Captains take, some tough decisions have to be made,” McGinley said. “Some have been made already and some will be made going forward. I’m prepared for that and I’m prepared for the fact that not everybody is going to agree with my decisions.
“I’ve been very fortunate, I’ve been involved in five of the last six Ryder Cups, and we won all five that I was involved in (three as a player, two as vice-captain). I’ve seen the template, I’ve seen what works and I just want to make that template better and roll it out again.
“I’ll meet any challenges I have head on and I understand that not everybody is going to be in agreement with the decisions that I make.”
McGinley himself will hit the very first shot in the race to qualify for Gleneagles at the ISPS Handa Wales Open.
And he expects to see plenty of players push their case this week when he tees off at 7:20am alongside Qualifying School winner John Parry and Challenge Tour Number One Espen Kofstad.
“The quality of golf on The European Tour now is phenomenal and there’s a lot of young players who are ready to step up to Ryder Cup standard,” added McGinley.
“I’m not afraid of having rookies on the team, and if those guys step up to the plate and play really well, I’ll be delighted to welcome them to the team. Generally, all I’m concerned about at the end of the day is having the 12 strongest players to represent Europe at this time next year.
“we had a situation a couple years ago where Alvaro Quiros won the Dubai World Championship and ended up not making the Team. So even though you may have a big win, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to make The Ryder Cup Team.
“You still have to play extremely well. Alvaro had a pretty decent season the year after, but it just shows you it has to be a phenomenal season for 12 months in order to make the team, and that’s just one case in point.
“Ultimately I’m looking for the guys who have played the best over the 12-month period and I have absolutely no hesitation about having rookies on the team or picking a rookie. Generally what I want is players who are playing the best.”