McGinley looking for Mr Right

Paul McGinley believes the European Tour has been “hurt” by successive defeats in the Ryder Cup and the Royal Trophy 

And while he appears to have ruled himself out of the running for the 2010 captaincy, he reckons it’s crucial that the tour stops the rot by picking an outstanding Ryder Cup skipper in Dubai in two weeks’ time.

Describing Tuesday’s four-hour committee meeting as “absolutely fantastic”, McGinley said: "It's important we get somebody to show that we are taking this defeat in a Ryder Cup series seriously.

"We want to have a very strong candidate who will hopefully accept the Ryder Cup captaincy so that we can put our imprint back on the dominance we have shown the last decade in team golf."

McGinley believes it’s important that Europe doesn’t suffer any more damage to its image during the current financial crisis.

And getting the right man for the Ryder Cup captaincy - almost certainly Jose Maria Olazabal - will show the world that Europe is as strong as ever.

McGinley rapped: “The financial crisis that is engulfing the commercial world is going have a direct impact on professional golf with different tours competing against each other, 

“We've just lost the Ryder Cup to give the initiative back to America which hurts, really hurts.  We've just lost the Royal Trophy and I know it wasn't a strong European Team in comparison to what our Ryder Cup team was.

“But again it is another defeat to Europe and it is important that we establish very firmly our place back at the top of world golf as a Tour and cement the fact we are very, very strong in-depth tour."

McGinley has been tipped as a future Ryder Cup captain but he insisted as things stand this week, he won’t be at the helm for Celtic Manor 2010.

He said: “I want to focus on being a player at the next Ryder Cup and you can't do that being a captain.

“I don't won't to divide two ways. I don't want to say, 'Okay, I will be captain and I am going to try and make it into the team.’ 

“I am going to do one or the other. At the moment and at present in time and in 2009 and as we are sitting here in Abu Dhabi, I am a professional golfer and I am not ready for the role of doing something that doesn't apply to me being a professional golfer.”

Jose Maria Olazabal appears to have been give two weeks to make up his mind whether he wants the job or not.

But European Tour boss George O’Grady revealed that the committee wants to talk to other prospective candidates with Darren Clarke a possible alternative to Olazabal.

Revealing there were several candidates for the job as well as “a favoured choice”, O’Grady said: “There are more than two and we want to speak to the top candidates.

"In principle the decision has been taken and now they want to sleep on that and regroup and see if their decision is the same in two weeks time."

McGinley denied that the tour was rushing to make up its mind on the captaincy in Dubai rather than waiting another three months when they meet again at Baltray.

McGinley said: “I don't think it is a rush.  We have always announced it at Dubai in January and the last time we did it, we did it three years in advance when we announced Ian Woosnam for 2006 and Nick Faldo for 2008."

Refusing to be drawn on the shortlist of prospective candidates, which appears to be topped by Olazabal with Sandy Lyle next on the list, McGinley said: "I am not going to talk about individuals. 

“All I  can say that in all my years attending Players Committee meetings it was THE best, most constructive, adrenalin rush of a meeting that I have ever been at. 

“It was absolutely fantastic and the energy in that room was just sensational. We have an unbelievably strong committee with unbelievably strong characters.

"You can go through every individual with players like Miguel Angel Jimenez, Thomas Bjorn, Monty, Paul Lawrie, myself. It was just a phenomenal meeting but we've got to get ourselves a great Ryder Cup captain.”