• Ryder Cup

McGinley names first two vice-captains for Gleneagles

ESPN staff
March 6, 2014
Paul McGinley will skipper Europe when they defend the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles © Getty Images

Paul McGinley has named Sam Torrance and Des Smyth as his first two vice-captains when the European team defends their title at Gleneagles in September.

McGinley was an assistant to Colin Montgomerie when Europe regained the famous Samuel Ryder trophy at the Celtic Manor in 2010 and then again to Jose Maria Olazabal when the title was retained at Medinah two years later.

The 47-year-old won the Ryder Cup as a player in 2002, when Torrance was captain, and earned the point that clinched the title with victory over Jim Furyk on the final day.

Reaction from the new appointments

  • Torrance: "I was never more proud in my career than when I pulled on the Ryder Cup sweater and it is no different this time. If I can do a tenth for Paul's team of what he did for my team then we will both be very happy men. We would do anything for the Ryder Cup. Paul is a great man and I'm looking forward to working with him again. The analogy I use is the role of the captain is like the headmaster - quite a daunting figure to a player. Sometimes, a player might hide a problem instead of speaking to the captain. And that's why we are there, to be the buffer between the player and the captain."
  • Smyth: "I'm absolutely thrilled to be back as part of the European Ryder Cup team. The Ryder Cup has meant an awful lot to my own career. I played in it in 1979 and 1981 and it was a thrill to be a player. As a player, it's the pinnacle of team golf - and if you want to be rated among your peers you've got to get that badge of being a Ryder Cup player. In 2006, I was invited by Ian Woosnam to be one of his assistants and that was a wonderful experience. I'm looking forward to the challenge. I hope I can support Paul in the decision making because he will be a busy man and I'm so happy to be back."

And speaking at a press conference in Dublin to announce his first appointments, McGinley was visibly excited to be working with Torrance again.

"As everybody knows, Sam and I have a very close relationship," he said. "We bonded very much in 2002 when Sam culminated a very successful career on the golf course with his captaincy at The Belfry. We all know that ended very well for both of us.

"But it was behind the scenes that Sam made a huge impression on me as a player. Tactically, he made so many right calls and he understands what the Ryder Cup is about.

"His ability to motivate the players and communicate with the team had a lasting impression on me. He was the first name that came to my mind when I was appointed captain."

On Smyth, a Ryder Cup assistant in 2006 when McGinley was also a player, he added: "I've known Des since I was 17 and, if anyone has been a mentor to me on the circuit, it's him.

"He was a very natural choice for me. When he was vice-captain at the K-Club, I found him inspirational, astute and the voice of reason - great traits that I've always found in Des."

McGinley was named captain last January, becoming the first Irishman to do hold the position.

He added: "The foundations are being put in place to form a very strong backroom and playing team to take on what will be a highly-motivated American team in September.

"I will be making no further announcements regarding vice-captains until after the playing team is finalised."

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