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Paul McGinley hoping to invoke Olympic spirit at the Ryder Cup

Updated: Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 11:11 | Comments

Paul McGinley is hoping that the Ryder Cup can match some of the spectacle of the Olympics
Paul McGinley is hoping that the Ryder Cup can match some of the spectacle of the Olympics

Paul McGinley is still on a high from watching the Olympics, but does not have to wait long to witness what is sure to be another thrilling sporting event.

The Dubliner was at the closing ceremony in London when European Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal rang and asked him to be one of his assistants in Chicago next month.

"If we can somehow get close to matching the Olympics I think it will be great. It's the most exciting thing I've ever seen," McGinley said.

McGinley believes Europe's chances of retaining the trophy have been given a huge boost in the past two weeks, first by Rory McIlroy winning the USPGA Championship and then by Sergio Garcia sealing his cup place by capturing his first PGA Tour title for four years.

"Rory winning was very, very important - psychologically it was big for our team and also a bit of a blow for the Americans to see us returning to form a bit," he said.

"And Sergio winning was phenomenal too. We lost a bit of momentum to them over the summer, but the last two weeks things have turned around.

"It's going to be a really, really tight Ryder Cup. I put it on a par with The Belfry - I think we did incredibly well to win that one."

After captaining Britain and Ireland to two Seve Trophy wins McGinley was installed as favourite to take over from Olazabal for the 2014 match at Gleneagles.

Both are at the Scottish venue this week for the Johnnie Walker Championship, but so is Darren Clarke and the name of last year's Open champion is also now being mentioned for the job.

"I think it's a case of if the Ryder Cup committee were to ask me to be captain then I think it would be disrespectful to say 'No', wherever they asked me," Clarke said.

"My hat has never been out of it. I still hope to play a little bit more yet, but if I was asked it would be a very tough position to say 'No'."

On the same subject McGinley commented: "I prefer not to talk about that at the moment.

"I think we have to respect this Ryder Cup and respect this captain and I think it's important we stay focused on that.

"This is a really, really tough challenge and there will be plenty of time to talk about 2014 afterwards."

As for next month's match, Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts requires a top-two finish at Gleneagles on Sunday to force himself in for a debut and put ex-world number one Martin Kaymer in need of a wild card like Ian Poulter and Padraig Harrington. There are only two available.

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