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McGinley set for second Seve captaincy

Updated: Monday, 22 Aug 2011 11:57

Paul McGinley captained Great Britain and Ireland to victory against Continental Europe in 2009
Paul McGinley captained Great Britain and Ireland to victory against Continental Europe in 2009

Paul McGinley has a chance to further his claims to the Ryder Cup captaincy in 2014 after being put in charge of the Great Britain and Ireland team again for the Vivendi Seve Trophy in Paris on 15-18 September.

The 44-year-old Dubliner, who led the side to victory on the same St-Nom-la-Breteche course two years ago, will be up against a Continental Europe team captained this time by Jean Van de Velde.

In 2009 it was Thomas Bjorn in charge, but after winning the Qatar Masters earlier this season the Dane is all set to return to a playing role.

Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal was given the task of choosing the two captains and he admitted earlier this month that Darren Clarke was among those under consideration to lead Britain and Ireland until he won the Open at Sandwich.

With the event clashing with the FedEx Cup play-offs in America it remains to be seen how many stars turn down a match which carries extra significance this year following the death of Seve Ballesteros, in whose honour it was first added to the European Tour schedule in 2000.

McGinley, one of Colin Montgomerie's vice-captains in last October's victory at Celtic Manor, said: "It's a great honour to be invited back as captain. I enjoyed it enormously last time.

"I'm looking forward to going up against Jean and it's good to have a Frenchman involved on French soil because that's important for the future of the tournament.

"With the excitement of France being awarded the Ryder Cup (in 2018), I'm sure the event will be well supported.

"Obviously with Seve's sad passing earlier this year, there will be added poignancy, particularly with Jose Maria being involved.

"Two years ago Seve was in our thoughts, both in the team room and outside. I'm sure he'll be looking down on us and hopefully we can put on an event worthy of him."

Van de Velde commented: "I was privileged to take part in the very first Seve Trophy at Sunningdale and to be part of the winning team captained by Seve.

"Captaining the Continental Europe side will be a completely new experience for me and I am honoured to be nominated for the role by Jose Maria at a venue I know so well.

"Paul McGinley is a good friend, but he has a head start on me, having captained Great Britain and Ireland to victory in 2009, so that is extra pressure.

"I am looking forward to it immensely. I am certain we will receive great support from the French public and I really hope the players make the maximum effort to take part and honour the memory of one of golf's true greats."

Qualifying ends after next week's Omega European Masters in Switzerland.

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