McGinley not afraid of making tough calls
Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley insists he is ready to be ruthless when required as he looks to lead Europe to an eighth victory in the last ten contests at Gleneagles next year.
McGinley was a popular choice as captain when the decision was made in January, with Rory McIlroy leading a Twitter campaign to ensure the Dubliner got the job.
But McGinley insists his affable nature does not mean he will be afraid to take the tough decisions which lie ahead.
"I understand that along the journey that all captains take, some tough decisions have to be made," McGinley said. "Some have been made already and some will be made going forward. I'm prepared for that and I'm prepared for the fact that not everybody is going to agree with my decisions.
"I've been very fortunate, I've been involved in five of the last six Ryder Cups, and we won all five that I was involved in [three as a player, two as vice-captain]. I've seen the template, I've seen what works and I just want to make that template better and roll it out again.
"I'll meet any challenges I have head on and I understand that not everybody is going to be in agreement with the decisions that I make."
McGinley himself will hit the very first shot in the race to qualify for Gleneagles and insists he is unconcerned only one member of last year's victorious side is competing in the ISPS Handa Wales Open.
Of the 12 players responsible for the "Miracle at Medinah", only Italy's Francesco Molinari is at Celtic Manor for the beginning of the year-long qualifying process.
However, McGinley can understand why the likes of McIlroy, Lee Westwood, Luke Donald and Ian Poulter are chasing the $10 million bonus on offer via the FedEx Cup play-offs and knows that the lucrative Final Series on the European Tour later this year will offer those players the chance to earn plenty of points.
"I think it's always a disappointment when there's not more of the top players playing, but there's very legitimate and understandable reasons with most of the players in the middle of the FedEx series," said McGinley, who tees off at 7.20am alongside Challenge Tour winner John Parry and tour school winner Espen Kofstad.
"Having said that, as we saw from that week, it won't make any difference to scoring and the standard of play. The quality of golf on The European Tour now is phenomenal and there's a lot of young players who are ready to step up to Ryder Cup standard.
"I'm not afraid of having rookies on the team, and if those guys step up to the plate and play really well, I'll be delighted to welcome them to the team. Generally, all I'm concerned about at the end of the day is having the 12 strongest players to represent Europe at this time next year.
"We have 47 events now and not everybody can be expected to play all 47. The players tailor their schedule according to courses that would suit them, and where they think they are going to play well on."
The inaugural Final Series offers a combined prize pool of more than £20 million across four limited-field events, including the £4.6 million Turkish Airlines Open the week before the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.