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McGinley's the best captain, says McDowell

By Phil Casey

Graeme McDowell admits he had brief doubts about Paul McGinley's Ryder Cup master plan, but feels the Irishman has broken the mould for future European captains.

McDowell and French rookie Victor Dubuisson played so well in their foursomes victory over Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley that they expected to play again in the Saturday morning fourballs at Gleneagles.

However, McGinley stuck with his plan to just play the unlikely duo in the alternate shot format and keep McDowell fresh to contest the first singles match – a plan which looked set to backfire as the Portrush man fell three down after six holes to Jordan Spieth.

"The first six holes I was doubting how much I had played and was a little undercooked," said McDowell.

"I had not hit many iron shots because of the way it worked out in foursomes on that course."

Thankfully for Europe, McDowell found his form as 21-year-old rookie Spieth stumbled and the former US Open champion went on to record a vital 2&1 win as the home side retained the trophy.

"Paul has been the best captain I have played under," McDowell added.

"For a guy who sits in front of 12 players whose careers will probably be better than his, the respect he commanded in the team room, the intelligence he spoke with, his message was so clear all week.

"I actually found myself listening to him thinking 'This guy is impressive. This guy is educated, this guy has really put a lot into what he's saying'.

"I'm not sure who our next Ryder Cup captain will be, but Paul would be the first guy I would call if I was going to be Ryder Cup captain."

Europe's previous five Ryder Cup captains – Bernhard Langer, Ian Woosnam, Nick Faldo, Colin Montgomerie and Jose Maria Olazabal – had all enjoyed stellar playing careers, but McDowell added: "He (McGinley) kind of breaks the mould from the point of view that he's not an eight-time Order of Merit champion, he's not a major champion but that's really not what's necessary to be a great captain.

"You just have to get it, you have to get the man-management of 12 egos and players in a system, understand what everyone needs.

"To me, Europe should follow this template in that it doesn't have to be a great player to be a great captain. I think he has personified that this week."

Belfast Telegraph

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