Having previously quoted that old saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” when it came to the qualifying process for the Ryder Cup, some might have been surprised at European captain Paul McGinley’s decision to try and “fix it”. Previous skipper Jose Maria Olazabal had gone for just two captains picks for the 2012 Ryder Cup, a decision which looked to golf betting fans as though it might come back to haunt him when he was forced to take the out-of-form Peter Hanson and Martin Kaymer to Medinah.
Thankfully that story had a happy ending. McGinley’s decision to give himself an extra pick for Gleneagles next year will hopefully mean the Irishman avoids a repeat of douse of the doubting Thomas’s Olazabal had to deal with. If anything the decision to take three wildcards to the 2014 Ryder Cup should strengthen Europe’s bid to win the biennial tournament for an eighth time in ten renewals.
Olazabal made the right decision in taking Ian Poulter and Nicolas Colsaerts to Chicago last year, and in doing so demonstrated how important getting your captain’s picks right can be. In recent times we have seen the American skippers make some bad choices and it was no surprise to see Tom Watson reduce the number of picks he has to three.
McGinley will have three very difficult decisions to make but given his Ryder Cup experience Europe fans should be confident he will make the right calls. The 46-year-old has an incredible record of success in team events, not only as a player but also as a captain. However, the Ryder Cup is bound to test his captaincy skills to the limit, especially with Watson organising the opposition.