The announcement that Paul McGinley has been named captain of the 2014 European Ryder Cup team may be the first that many have heard of the Irish golfer. McGinley has never won on the PGA Tour and has just four European Tour wins. He has never seriously contended in a Major.
That said, McGinley has a fairly substantial Ryder Cup pedigree. He represented Europe as a player on three teams (2002, 2004 and 2006), and served as vice-captain on the 2010 and 2012 teams. It was his putt in 2002 that sealed the European win at The Belfrey. He won acclaim for his sportsmanship for conceding a 20-foot putt for a half to JJ Henry at the 2006 Ryder Cup. McGinley was concerned that a streaker on the green had broken Henry’s concentration.
McGinley also played on the 1991 Walker Cup team and represented Great Britain and Ireland in the 2002 and 2005 Seve Trophy matches. McGinley served as captain in 2009 and 2011. He was a winner in all those matches.
Among his nine wins as a professional are four European Tour victories: the Hohe Brucke Open (1996), the Oki Pro-Am (1997), the Celtic Manor Resort Wales Open (2001) and the Volvo Masters (2005). His best finish in a Major was a T6 at the 2004 PGA Championship.
The remainder of the nine wins are the 1997 Irish PGA Championship, World Cup of Golf (with Pádraig Harrington), the 2000 Irish PGA Championship, and the 2002 and 2003 Smurfit Irish PGA Championship.
Gaelic Football was McGinley’s first love. He played the game until the age of 18, when he suffered a broken kneecap. Turning full-time to golf, he won the South of Ireland Championship in 1991 just before turning pro. He became a member of the European Tour in 1992.
McGinley has used his Gaelic football team experience as a selling point in his bid for Ryder Cup Captain.
The 46-year-old is married to a former Ladies European Tour Player, Alison. The couple has three children and resides in Sunningdale, England.