McGinley confident of winning formula

European Team Captain Jose Maria Olazabal (ESP) and Vice Captain Paul McGinley (IRL) on the 6th hole during Wednesday’s Practice Day of the 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club, Chicago, Illinois 26th September 2012 (Photo Eoin Clarke/ Cup vice-captain Paul McGinley insists that Europe won’t change their winning formula as they bid for a seventh win from the last nine matches.

The Dubliner, 45, has never been at a Ryder Cup and lost and he’s convinced the Americans will have to play out of their skins to stop Jose Maria Olazabal’s side at Medinah.

Three times a winner as a player and a winning vice captain in Wales two years ago, the man who holed the crucial putt at The Belfry in 2002 insists there is no point in trying to come up with a revolutionary new plan to spank the Yanks.

McGinley said: “This is not a case of reinventing the wheel. We’ve a lot of things that have worked in the past – a lot of knowledge among the backroom team as to what works and what doesn’t work. I think trying to do things differently would be wrong.

“There’s a strategy there, there’s things that work and it involves rolling out that template again.

“We won’t be doing anything that would surprise you, let’s put it that way. I think history is a great thing and we’ve learned from any mistakes we may have made. We’ve also learned from the successes too.

“We have a template, I certainly have in my own head, of what works and what doesn’t work.

“It’s important not to over-complicate things. Keep things as simple as possible and keep what the players are doing as simple as possible as well.

“There’s no need to overcomplicate things with tactics and trying to outsmart the Americans because there’s always a chance you’ll end up outsmarting yourself.”

Europe’s partnerships seem obvious and McGinley sees no reason why they should change with Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell, Lee Westwood and Luke Donald and Justin Rose and Ian Poulter likely to be Europe’s top pairings.

“Everybody in the world knows that Rory and Graeme are going to play together,” he said. “It would be wrong of us to say that’s not going to happen and it’d be wrong of us not to put them out together and try to confuse the Americans.

“That’s an example of what I as saying about making things complicated. There’s a template there, partnerships that have worked in the past, why break those up.”

McGinley was part of the team that won by double scores on US soil in Detroit in 2004 but he knows it’s not going to be easy to hold off a gung-ho American side this.

The Chicago crowd will be loud and raucous yet McGinley feels that Europe are happy to take the underdog’s role.

Getting off to winning start in today’s opening foursomes will be crucial.

“It’s important, of course it is,” he said. “Hopefully the Americans don’t get a lead on us, get momentum and then the crowd will be even noisier.

“We’re very much aware of that and that first session is very important in setting the tone for the week.”

Given the success they’ve had since losing at Brookline in 1999 - four wins and just one defeat - and with Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Justin Rose dominating the top five in the world rankings, he believes the Americans will have their work cut out to stop the rot.

He said: “I like the fact that the Americans have made themselves favourite. I think we’re quite happy for them to be favourites.

“We’ve won six of the last eight, our players are pretty much dominating the top of the world rankings but if they want to make themselves favourites, good.

“There’s no doubt home advantage is going to be beneficial to them and I know the bookies have got them slight favourites as well and the bookies don’t get it wrong too often, so we’ll have to wait and see.

“We’re quite happy to be underdogs if that’s the way they want to play it.

“I think the fact we’re playing in America is a big advantage to them. We’ve talked a lot about the crowd and how we are going to deal with that, the effects of momentum and what it will do to the noise of the crowd let’s just say.

“So we are aware of all those things. Look, we’ll devise our strategy, motivate the players, tell them what we are going to do and work to it.

“At the end of the day if our golf is good enough we’ll win, if not we’ll get beaten.

“I’ll only say if we are beaten this week, the Americans will have played very well to beat us.”

McGinley makes no secret of the fact that he’d love to be Ryder Cup captain in Scotland in 2014.

“As a golfer it’s the ultimate for me,” he said of his passion for the event. “It’s everything, it’s great, it’s not just about golf, but sport too. I love the team aspect.”

With Darren Clarke and Paul Lawrie his likely rivals for the job in Gleneagles in two years’ time, he knows that it won’t be easy to win the vote to be names as the first Irish skipper.

He said: “I don’t want to think too much about it in case it doesn’t happen. The decision is made early next year and we’ll just have to wait and see.

“There’s a lot of people lined up hopefully trying to be captain as well. We’ll just have to wait to see what the decision’s going to be.”

His presence in the backroom team will be vital given his experience and he’s determined to make a difference.

He said: “I’ll be trying to impart the knowledge of what I’ve learned. Four of the last five Ryder Cups I’ve been involved in and we’ve won them all.

“I think I’ve learned a lot of lessons, a lot of things have worked. It’s important to put my ideas of what works on the table and then it’s up to the captain to decide whether he does down those lines or not. That’s his prerogative.”