McGinley backs Clarke: "It’s a second chance he’s got in the game"

Clarke and McGinley were assistant Ryder Cup captains at Celtic Manor last year. Picture Eoin Clarke/www.golffile.iePaul McGinley is backing Darren Clarke to hit a golden run of form thanks to his Open win.

But while a continued resurgence in Clarke’s career could leave McGinley in pole position to snatch the 2014 Ryder Cup captaincy the Dubliner insists he’s not going to “waste any more energy” wondering if he will become the first Irishman to skipper a European side.

Fed up with the captaincy speculation, McGinley said: “To be honest, it’s a million miles away. Who’d have said a few weeks back that Darren’s going to win the Open.

“Nobody knows what’s going to happen next year before the Ryder Cup.

“There’re too many ifs, buts and maybes, too many guys coming into and going out of the equation. I’m just going to carry on as I always do.

“The goalposts change the whole time and there’s so many things to happen between now and then. It’s just too early to say and too early to speculate.

“It’s all about playing well this time next year, who’s going to be in contention for the team and politics come into it so much.”

McGinley missed Clarke’s historic win at Sandwich as he was playing in the Indonesian Open.

But he firmly believes that his pal will kick on now and become a force again after a victory he described as “like winning the Lotto.”

McGinley said: “Winning the Open is massive for Darren. It’s a second chance he’s got in the game and I’ve a real hunch that this win is going to take a lot of weight off his shoulders.

“You’re going to see a lot of good golf from Darren in the next year or two.

“I spoke a lot with Seve over the years and one of the things he talked about in the game was what he called ‘destino’ or destiny.

“He said there were occasions when he should never have won a tournament but things conspired for him to win.”

McGinley believes Rory McIlroy is one of golf’s chosen few: “When I look at Rory, I think of the lottery advert where a big finger comes down from heaven and points somebody out.

“That’s what I think God has done with Rory. He’s just given him all this talent to play the game.”

Now he feels that the gods have smiled on Clarke and reckons the big Ulsterman will go from strength to strength.  

McGinley explained: “Seve said he could read the ‘destino’ by looking at the game. That’s pretty much what happened Darren last week, that finger came out of the sky and chose him.

“Seve went with it. Sometimes he felt destiny was so much on his side, he’d keep taking on shots because he felt he would get a good reward from him.

“It’s a fascinating subject. The likes of Dr Bob Rotella say you shape your own destiny, it’s all in your own hands, yet I believe the golfing Gods have a lot to do with it.

“Especially in an event like The Open, where even getting on the right side of the draw is a massive thing  - that’s another way in which things worked in Darren’s favour.”

Whatever destiny holds in store for McGinley, the three time Ryder Cup winner is suffering right now.

His left knee requires another operation and he’s praying that it can hold up until the end of the season as he bids to get some momentum going with his golf.

Ranked a lowly 542nd in the world, he’s relying on his place in the Top-40 career money winners to get starts these days and that’s hurting his chances of climbing the rankings.

After finishing 14th in the Scottish Open two weeks ago, he had to go to Indonesia for his next start and must wait until the low key Czech Open in two weeks to get his next start after Killarney.

Frustrated by his struggles, he said: It’s c**p when you are not in the top 50 in the world.

“It is a stop start campaign and I think that’s what I’ve struggled with more in the last few years is trying to get a consistent schedule going of playing tournaments in a row.

“Between injuries and not being in certain tournaments and the way the schedule is now based around the top players playing in the top events, it is hard to get any momentum and I have really struggled with that for the last few years.”