Europe’s Ryder Cup winning team have hailed the leadership of captain Paul McGinley following their hard-fought victory at Gleneagles over the weekend.
McGinley, the first Irishman to lead the side, masterminded the 16½-11½ ‘Pounding in Perthshire’ to seal a third consecutive European victory in the match.
Leading 10-6 going into the final day against Tom Watson’s American side – thanks largely to a 7-1 aggregate victory in the foursomes – the Euros had the win all wrapped up with four matches still on the course.
And, in stark contrast to Phil Mickelson questioning the strategy of his own skipper in an awkward post-match press conference, the jubilant Europeans lined-up to lavish praise on their own captain.
“He has just been the most wonderful captain and I can't speak highly enough of him” said world No.1 Rory McIlroy, who had lobbied for his fellow Irishman to get the nod. “From the first day we got here, the speeches that he gave, the videos he showed us, the people that he got in to talk us, the imagery in the team room, it all tied in together. It was all part of the plan all for the cause of trying to win this Ryder Cup, and he was meticulous in his planning.
“He left no stone unturned. He was amazing. I think I speak on behalf of all the 12 players and say that he couldn't have done anything else. He was absolutely fantastic.”
"The Ryder Cup has been very good to me and I'm quite happy now to take very much a background seat." - Paul McGinley
Sergio Garcia added: “Without a doubt, Paul was amazing. I was talking to Thomas yesterday on the way back to the hotel and he was mentioning that he strongly feels that Paul is the new wave of captains: a lot more modern, every detail, it was right there. He thought of everything this week.
“So, for me, it was amazing. I've talked so much to Paul throughout this past, probably, four months, and he obviously really wanted me on the team. He said that probably a year-and-a-half ago to me, and it meant a lot. I think it helped me to motivate myself to play even better and make sure that I made the team and not have to be the possibility of being a pick.
“I think that the job he's done has just been amazing, and you know, I couldn't be prouder of being a part of this team and part of him as a captain.”
“I think Paul got a great template and a model for captains going forward,” remarked Lee Westwood, who made his ninth Ryder Cup appearance last week. “I think you could base your captaincy and your future captain around the way Paul did it this week.”
In spite of such incredible praise, however, McGinley insists that he will not be returning to the role for the 2016 match at Hazeltine, nor does he anticipate taking a backroom role again.
"The Ryder Cup has been very good to me and I'm quite happy now to take very much a background seat,” he said. “I've got a role now in deciding who the next captain will be and we'll see where that goes in the next few months. But certainly, no, I've done my piece and I'm happy to have the honour and happy to help in any way going forward but I don't think a vice captain -- I don't think it would be right for me to go into the vice captaincy role for me personally. I don't know if I'd quite enjoy that, having done it, and then stepped up to captaincy."
Darren Clarke is the odds-on favourite to succeed McGinley as captain.
Paul McGinley :: Is he the greatest European captain of them all?
After leading Europe to a sensational victory over the US at Gleneagles over the weekend, is Paul McGinley destined to go down in history as the greatest European captain of all time? Leave your thoughts in our ‘Comments’ section below.