Graeme McDowell and Luke Donald have backed Paul McGinley to captain Europe at the 2014 Ryder Cup.
McDowell this week joins 10 of his Ryder Cup-winning colleagues, along with victorious captain, Jose Maria Olazabal and vice-captains McGinley, Darren Clarke and Miguel Angel Jimenez in the BMW Masters in Shanghai.
While Clarke has drawn a line under any further talk on the 2014 captaincy, McDowell believes McGinley would be best suited to lead Europe at Gleneagles with Clarke perfect for the 2016 role at Hazeltine.
McDowell said: “Both Paul and Darren would be great captains but Paul has forged a little niche for himself, given the way he has conducted himself in the Seve Trophy and the Ryder Cup vice-captaincy roles.
“He’s a scholar of the game and a strategist and would probably be technically, if that’s the right word, a good captain.
“Darren would emotionally be a great captain and a great motivator with that big personality he possesses. Darren’s credentials may be better but I think he would make for a great captain in America as they love him over there.
“His personality suits America and they see him as the cigar-smoking, Guinness-drinking nice guy that he is. Both would bring different personalities to the team room but then both would be very effective.”
The argument in favour of Clarke is based on the Irishman’s playing record, capped by last year’s British Open success. But then McDowell argues being a great player does not always translate into being a great Ryder Cup captain, as McDowell so closely observed under Nick Faldo’s hapless 2008 leadership.
“If it should boil down to pure playing credentials, of course Darren would win hands down as the next captain,” admitted McDowell.
“However that opens a can of worms on the Ryder Cup captaincy debate — are we looking for a captain who has the right playing credentials or are we looking at someone who will be a great captain?
“You’ve got to look at what makes a great captain which is being able to relate to 12 individual players in a team.
“It’s to do also with people skills and being able to possess organisational skills as well as leadership qualities. They all go into making a great Ryder Cup captain.”
Also joining McDowell backing McGinley is former world number one Luke Donald, who singled out McGinley’s “diligence and enthusiasm” as key traits that make him a suitable candidate.
“From a personal point of view, and probably because I have spoken a little bit more to McGinley, I find him a little bit more outgoing with me,” said Donald. “Paul always seems very up for the challenge. But then I do believe if he doesn’t get it this year, he probably won’t get it, at all, whereas, I feel Darren will have other opportunities.
“So I would support McGinley as he’s been very diligent, very enthusiastic and whenever I have been around him I have enjoyed it. He just has a really good team vibe. He seems to think about the small things.”
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