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Waiting was the hardest part - McGinley


Paul McGinley will lead the Europeans at Gleneagles

Paul McGinley will lead the Europeans at Gleneagles

Paul McGinley will lead the Europeans at Gleneagles

Paul McGinley has spoken about the agonising 58 minutes he spent in his hotel room waiting to hear if he had been made Ryder Cup captain - or if he had missed out on the job probably for ever.

The 46-year-old Dubliner will lead Europe against Tom Watson's America at Gleneagles next year and has already made clear his intention not only to give the match a Scottish flavour, but also to honour the memory of Seve Ballesteros again.

Yet McGinley, the first Irishman to be made captain in Ryder Cup history despite all that their golfers have given to the contest over the years, did not know which way the vote would go after being asked to leave the tournament committee meeting in Abu Dhabi.

Colin Montgomerie and fellow Scots Paul Lawrie and Sandy Lyle, plus Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez, were also discussed, but in the end it was unanimously agreed to go for the man whose claims had been put so powerfully by world number one Rory McIlroy.

"I went to the committee meeting first, where we did all the mundane details of the Tour," McGinley said. "I was asked to leave as the Ryder Cup was discussed and I went to my room.

"My brother was up there as well. I had a couple of oatmeal cookies and a bottle of water and watched the time go by - very slowly I have to say.

"I was looking at the clock very closely, how long it was taking."

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Eventually the 2002 match-winner was invited back in and given the good news.

"I'm obviously delighted and absolutely thrilled. To lead arguably the strongest team in depth on the European Tour that we've had and to be leading the cream of the crop in the Ryder Cup is going to be a huge honour," he said.

"To be quite honest, it's a very, very humbling experience to be sitting in this seat. I'm really looking forward to this opportunity."

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