Rory McIlroy last night turned up the heat under golf’s great debate by tweeting his backing of Paul McGinley as the ideal captain to lead Europe’s defence of the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in September 2014.
In a reaction to yesterday’s appointment of Tom Watson as US captain, McIlroy tweeted: “Congratulations to Tom Watson as US Ryder Cup captain. Would love to see Paul McGinley go up against him as European captain at Gleneagles.”
Fourteen minutes later came another tweet from the world No 1: “For the record, I think Darren Clarke would make a great captain in the US and so I would like to see him do it in 2016. Both guys deserve a go.”
Clarke became favourite in the past couple of months once he declared his interest in the job at Gleneagles.
He was quoted this week at 4-7 with McGinley on offer at 6-4 despite McIlroy’s and other leading players’ earlier backing of the Dubliner.
Meanwhile, McIlroy’s management company Horizon Sports last night issued a joint statement with the Emirates Australian Open rejecting claims the world number one had refused to play in the tournament over the size of his appearance fee.
The story McIlroy had doubled his appearance fee to US$2 million (€1.5m) since winning the PGA Championship in Europe had first appeared in the Australian golf media and spread quickly around the world but both parties last night said such reports “of any pre-existing agreement and requests for increased appearance fees are totally inaccurate”.
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