By Brian Keogh
Paul McGinley believes he has justified his decision to resign as one of Nick Faldo’s Ryder Cup vice-captains.
And that’s because the Dubliner, 41, reckons he still has an outside chance of landing one of two wildcards if he can win this week’s Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles.
Faldo and vice-captain Jose Maria Olazábal will be forced to choose two players from a list that currently features McGinley, Darren Clarke, Paul Casey, Ian Poulter, Martin Kaymer, Ross Fisher and Nick Dougherty - to name only a few.
And McGinley is happy that he won’t be forced to help Faldo choose as he bids for a victory that could earn him his fourth Ryder Cup cap.
Back in the world’s top 100 after finishing second to Clarke in the KLM Open, McGinley said: “I feel that I have to win in Gleneagles now if I am to give myself a chance of a pick. He (Faldo) has a lot of options and it will be interesting to see where he goes.
“Before you ask, I certainly won’t be part of the decision making process and I am so glad I am not part of that process.
“I don’t feel it is right, as a competitive player, to be part of that. I have justified my reason for standing down as a vice-captain by giving myself a chance of a pick and I am certainly not in a position, as a competitive player on tour, to get involved in picks.
“I am very glad I am not in that situation and I wish Nick and Ollie the best of luck. Hopefully they will pick the right two players.”
McGinley congratulated Clarke on his victory as the Ulsterman walked off the 18th green at Kennemer on Sunday.
But he knows that his pal’s 12th European Tour victory has seriously dented his chances of landing a wildcard next Sunday night.
He said: “All credit to Darren, to win twice this year after what he has been through. He has come from very far behind this year too. That’s why he can’t make it in the qualification process but he can certainly make it as a pick now. He has given himself a great chance.”
Like Clarke, McGinley had a nightmare 2007 season which left him outside the world’s top 50 and without starts in all but one of the majors and World Golf Championship events.
Up to 87th in the world from 207th at the start of the year, he leads the stroke average on the European Tour but is 21st in the European Ryder Cup Points list after missing out on most of this year’s big money events.
He said: “I have come from a hell of a long way back. I was 207th in the world at the start of the year and 70th in the Order of Merit last year.
“I missed seven of the eight big world events and majors this year, which everyone else played in. So I have missed $60 million worth of prize money which all the other guys in front of me have played for the majority of. That is a big ask.
“But I have no complaints. I haven’t played well enough. I have one more week and I will certainly be giving it 101 percent at Gleneagles. I am sure it will be windy and wild, as the whole summer has been in Europe this year."