Rory McIlroy backs Paul McGinley over Colin Montgomerie for Ryder Cup

World No 1 endorses Irishman after 2010's winning captain makes surprise late entrance into the running

Abu Dhabi

The emergence of Colin Montgomerie as a candidate for the Ryder Cup captaincy has Abu Dhabi in a spin ahead of tonight's selection meeting. It could turn out to be just that. Spin. The people who really matter in this great contest, the players, are falling over themselves to endorse the alternative, Paul McGinley.

This could even turn out to be the first appointment decided on Twitter. World No 1 Rory McIlroy has been filing daily character references in favour of McGinley. Ian Poulter, the man who did so much to haul Europe back into the contest at Medinah, was an early advocate of the Irishman. Luke Donald added his voice yesterday. "I hope Paul McGinley gets his chance, he's been an amazing vice-captain and deserves an opportunity."

McIlroy took time at his Nike unveiling to extoll the virtues of McGinley. "I do strongly believe in captaincy being a one-hit deal. I feel everyone deserving should get their chance. I played under Paul at the Seve Trophy in 2009 and he did an unbelievable job. Under any captain I played he's been the best. He brought so much to the team room.

"I don't feel like Monty has anything to gain by this. Because if we go to Gleneagles and lose, he's already a winning Ryder Cup captain. I'm fully behind Paul and he should get the job. It's the small details. He doesn't leave any stone unturned. I just had a great experience playing under him. He's been a vice-captain in the two Ryder Cups I've played in and he's brought a lot to the table, a lot of ideas. He would make a really good captain."

Wow. If Monty comes back from a testimonial as grand as that delivered by the most significant voice on planet golf it will rival his team's recovery at Celtic Manor in 2010. It would appear that much of the background noise has been emanating from Sky, which employs Montgomerie as a pundit at major championships. While there is no harm in Sky trumpeting its property, it will not hold sway in the committee room, where 10 votes, good and true, will decide the matter tonight.

The tournament committee comprises 15 individuals. Three, Robert Karlsson, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Joakim Haeggman are absent and cannot vote. Montgomerie and McGinley are discounted, leaving chairman Thomas Björn and the remaining nine; Felipe Aguilar, Paul Casey, Darren Clarke, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, David Howell, Raphaël Jacquelin, Peter Lawrie, Francesco Molinari and Henrik Stenson to deliberate.

Of course Montgomerie would accept the invitation should it come his way, but, with Darren Clarke beating a late retreat in order to concentrate on his game, McGinley remains the short-odds favourite.

"Obviously, it would be a dream come true if I could be seen to be captain at home in Scotland," Montgomerie said. "It would be a great honour. It seemed to be between Darren and Paul and now my name seems to be mentioned an awful lot, so we will see."

Montgomerie and Clarke contested the Volvo Champions last week in South Africa, where the two discussed the demands of the Ryder Cup and balancing that with playing commitments.

"I can fully understand where Darren is coming from, especially given the exemptions he still has into the majors. You want to use them when you can still play," Montgomerie said. "Because we're close friends he knows it took a year and a half out of my career. If you come back after a year and a half out you might not be able to use those exemptions to the same potential.

"I didn't think it would affect my golf the way it did. I've told him that. I was looking at leaderboards for other names and not my own. I was hoping that some were doing well as opposed to concentrating on my own game. And practice went out of the window. There's no time. It's a full-time commitment if you want to do it properly."

McGinley has neither the record nor the profile to match Montgomerie. What he does have is the goodwill of influential figures and a canny record in team competitions. As well as holing the winning putt at the Belfry 11 years ago, McGinley has never lost in the three Ryder Cups he contested as a player, or the two in which he stood as vice-captain. He has also successfully captained the Britain and Ireland team in the Seve Trophy.

There is another detail that commends him. When all others have been beating this drum or that, McGinley has kept his own counsel. Expect his discretion to be rewarded in Abu Dhabi tonight.

Monty reaction

Bernard Gallacher: "He has done the job already and did it well but there are others who should now get the chance"

Jose Maria Olazabal: "If I was him I wouldn't do it again, but Monty is his own man."

Paul Lawrie: "He's had his go, there are plenty of good people available to be captain."

Ian Woosnam: "In my opinion, it is a one-only deal."

Luke Donald: "I hope McGinley gets his chance, he's been an amazing vice-captain and deserves it."

Ian Poulter: "It would be fantastic to have Paul McGinley as the 2014 captain."

Who gets to vote?

Thomas Björn, Felipe Aguilar, Paul Casey, Darren Clarke, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, David Howell, Raphaël Jacquelin, Peter Lawrie, Francesco Molinari and Henrik Stenson.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Voices
A meteor streaks across the sky during the Perseid Meteor Shower at a wind farm near Bogdanci, south of Skopje, Macedonia, in the early hours of 13 August
voicesHagel and Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise, says Robert Fisk
News
peopleEnglishman managed quintessential Hollywood restaurant Chasen's
Life and Style
food + drinkHarrods launches gourmet food qualification for staff
Arts and Entertainment
Michael Flatley prepares to bid farewell to the West End stage
danceMichael Flatley hits West End for last time alongside Team GB World champion Alice Upcott
Life and Style
Horst P Horst mid-fashion shoot in New York, 1949
fashionFar-reaching retrospective to celebrate Horst P Horst's six decades of creativity
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
i100
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T plays live in 2007 before going on hiatus from 2010
arts + entsSinger-songwriter will perform on the Festival Republic Stage
Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition