McGinley promises he's playing it straight in course set-up

European captain Paul McGinley insists he has not “tricked up” the Ryder Cup course at Gleneagles, but admitted Mother Nature had played an unexpected role.

European captain Paul McGinley insists he has not “tricked up” the Ryder Cup course at Gleneagles, but admitted Mother Nature had played an unexpected role.

“The rough is a little thicker than we would have liked it, but I think that’s down to the warm Scottish September that we’ve had, along with some heavy showers,” McGinley said.

“I haven’t gone out of my way to trick things up.”

As captain of the home side, McGinley has the right to set up the PGA Centenary Course as he sees fit, but promised that there would be no major surprises when play gets under way on Friday.

“I’d like to think I’m playing it very straight this week when it comes to the course set-up,” the 47-year-old added. “I’ve aligned it very much with the set-up that we play on the European Tour.

“In general we have narrower fairways in Europe than you do on the PGA Tour, in general we have a little bit more rough and in general your greens are quicker and faster than we have on the European Tour.

“I think to be honest the rough is a little thicker than ideal, but that wasn’t a calculated decision. We wanted to get the rough up, but I think the growing season of September has made it a little bit more thicker and longer than we wanted.”

Former captain Sam Torrance narrowed the fairways at The Belfry in 2002 to make life difficult for the longer hitters on the American team, but McGinley added: “The dynamic has changed. Now we have as many big hitters as they do.

“There was a time when we were straighter and shorter and they were longer and a little bit wider, but that’s not the case any more. It’s one of the reasons why it wasn’t a case of me trying to outsmart myself. I wanted to make sure our players were going to be comfortable, and if the Americans are comfortable, too, so be it.

“When I talk about the course set-up, we are not talking about black and white. We’re not talking about fairways going from 35 yards wide in America to 20 yards wide in Europe. So the Americans are not going to go look at it and think it’s completely alien to anything they have experienced.”

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