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Ireland’s Paul McGinley was named captain of the 2014 European Ryder Cup team that will seek a third straight victory over the U.S.
McGinley was selected over five other contenders, including Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie, Sandy Lyle and Paul Lawrie.
The 46-year-old was a vice captain for the 2010 team at Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, Wales. He was introduced by the European Tour at a press conference today in Abu Dhabi, site of this week’s European PGA Tour HSBC Championship.
“This is a position that I’m really, really thrilled to be in,” McGinley said. “It’s also a very humbling experience.”
McGinley drew support for the job in recent weeks from some of Europe’s top players, including Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy, the No. 1 player in the Official World Golf Ranking, and No. 3-ranked Luke Donald of England. Europe was won seven of the past nine Ryder Cup titles.
A four-time winner on the European Tour, McGinley succeeds Jose Maria Olazabal as captain. As a player, McGinley was on winning Ryder Cup teams in 2002, 2004 and 2006, holing the cup- clinching putt as a rookie 11 years ago. He won two matches, lost two and tied five.
Tom Watson, 63, will lead the U.S. team when the three-day tournament is played at the Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire, Scotland, Sept. 26-28, 2014, making him the oldest American captain. Sam Snead was 57 when he led the U.S. team in 1969.
Europe won last year’s biennial tournament between teams of U.S. and European golfers at Medinah Country Club outside Chicago, 14 1/2 to 13 1/2, equaling the 13-year-old U.S. record for biggest comeback in the competition’s history. Europe entered the final day trailing 10-6 and outscored the U.S. 8 1/2 to 3 1/2 in 12 final-day singles matches.
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