Faldo to struggle at Valhalla - O'Connor Jnr
Nick Faldo

Nick Faldo

Paul McGinley's resignation as Ryder Cup vice captain could prove to be a massive blow to Nick Faldo's Valhalla dream.

That's the view of Ryder Cup hero Christy O'Connor Jnr, who reckons that the solitary and aloof Englishman could be in for a torrid time in Kentucky next September.

McGinley dropped his resignation bombshell on the eve of the disastrous Seve Trophy at The Heritage.

And O'Connor believes that Faldo's will live to regret his decision not to pick and Irishman for the matches there.

He said: "Nick’s very individual, maybe even too solitary. I believe that could be a problem for the Ryder Cup. He needs somebody alongside him and Paul would have been ideal.

"He picked Paul to deal with the European side and to be his eyes and ears on The European Tour. The choice of Paul was right and he got one hell of a shock.

"If he wanted Paul McGinley to learn about the vice-captaincy he should have had him at The Heritage."

Faldo's lack of consideration towards sponsors Oceanico looks likely to affect his long term relationship with that company once he finishes his latest Portugal course design for the property giants.

And O'Connor still can't believe Faldo's decision not to pick an Irishman for an event that was already struggling to attract the fans.

He said: "To me it was the biggest blunder anyone could make. How you could have a Britain and Ireland team playing in Ireland and have no Irish players on it?

"I mean it just doesn’t add up does it. It just goes to show you, the crowds didn’t show up. I felt very strongly about it too.

"The event needed a huge lift, yet it got a downer. I think that outside from the Ryder Cup, team events struggle.

"I think we are getting so much golf on TV, to go out and watch a team event is almost a non-starter. Show me a good singles tournament, especially the last 10 groups, and that’s when the heat is on.

"And yet there is excitement in match play if you give people something to cling onto or identify with. In the case of the Britain and Ireland team at the Seve Trophy, you go down there and don’t know who to cheer."

O'Connor is currently designing his 34th golf course with more in the pipeline.

And was delighted to hear that McGinley is calling a temporary halt to his career as a designer after his debut effort at Macreddin Golf Club in Wicklow to concentrate on

O'Connor said: "Paul was saying ‘that’s me finished with course design for the moment’ and I agreed with him because when you are involved in the design, any time you go to a new course, you pick out bunkers and see little turns and features you like.

"Now, if you are playing a tournament, you cannot afford to be distracted like that. But there’s no way out of it!

"I actually used write things down on the back of the score card, it was so bad. Once you get into the golf course design business that’s what happens. It’s like opening Pandora’s Box.

"Paul thought long and very hard about his position with the Ryder Cup and it’s a very good answer he gave too - that he’d much prefer to try to concentrate on making the team.

"So I think, it’s like the golf course design, if you are already vice-captain, I don’t think you could have the same focus on trying to get onto the team. I think he’s right in that sense.

"I think there are too many younger course designers. There’s no problem in them doing it when they all have their money made from playing I believe it’s desperately difficult to play when you are involved in course design because you see everything.

"Nicklaus agreed with me. That’s why when he stopped on Tour, he really went into design."