It will be sold as “No More Mr. Nice Guy” but anyone who thought Paul McGinley was going to be a pushover as a Ryder Cup captain does not know him that well. After all, the dapper Dubliner overcame all the odds, tiptoeing through a political minefield and neatly dodging other obstacles to get the job.
And he did it thanks to the respect of the players themselves, by discretely forming alliances, playing his cards close to his chest, by banking on his strengths and by sticking to his plan.
No wonder he has no fears whatsoever about making the tough decisions that every Ryder Cup captain must make. From deciding on his three picks to Ryder Cup week selections of foursomes and four balls pairings, he’ll be making decisions constantly and ruthlessly.
Nick Faldo, Colin Montgomerie and José María Olazábal were forced to ‘hire and fire’ as their respective captaincies progressed – benching players against their will while handing others more responsibility than they expected.
It doesn’t always work out but having played in three winning teams and sat in the backroom as an assistant for the last two matches at Celtic Manor and Medinah, Ireland’s first skipper is not prepared to shy away from the tough calls.
“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. 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.”