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European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley backs Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell

By Phil Casey

European captain Paul McGinley insists he has no concerns over Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell's relationship ahead of next week's Ryder Cup.

The Ulstermen have played together six times in the last two contests but are currently involved, directly and indirectly, in a court case with McIlroy's former management company.

McIlroy's legal battle with Horizon Sports Management also involves the affairs of McDowell and the judge hearing the case said on Tuesday it involved such sensitive matters that the sides should engage in mediation.

"The case has all sorts of sensitivities involving two players on tour, a manager of one of them and a former manager or agent of the other. It has all sorts of complex issues involving relationship matters," Mr Justice Brian McGovern told both legal teams.

However, McGinley said: "It's not a concern.

"It has been going for a year and both have had very strong years.

"Rory's had arguably his best year ever (winning two major championships) and Graeme won the French Open.

"It has not affected their performance and both of them have assured me it's not going to affect anything in the team room.

"I would be very surprised if they don't play together although I'm not going to write it in stone."

McIlroy's successful summer has led to him being named PGA of America Player of the Year and the Vardon Trophy winner in the US.

Meanwhile, the Wales Open at Celtic Manor, which starts today, will not take place in 2015.

This year's event will be the 15th consecutive year the tournament has been held at the venue in Newport, Wales, but a new staging deal has not been signed.

"Celtic Manor are concentrating on building a new conference centre," said European Tour spokesman Keith Waters.

"Once that's completed then I'm sure it will return."

Celtic Manor staged the 2010 Ryder Cup.

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