Paul McGinley believes Europe need to make some changes ahead of the next Ryder Cup in 2023 after losing to formidable opponents at Whistling Straits; he also reflects on Rory McIlroy's performance after he lost three of his four matches
Monday 27 September 2021 18:10, UK
Paul McGinley believes Europe need to learn some lessons from their 19-9 Ryder Cup defeat to the United States at Whistling Straits and he has a three-point plan for the team going forward….
The first lesson is our opponent is stronger than they've ever been before. These guys are coming back. Ten of that team are coming back again for the next few Ryder Cups and we know the quality of players that they are.
So we've got to step up our quality. You win Ryder Cups with players - as good as the captain is behind the scenes you are only as good as the players and the quality of golf that they play. Yes you give them the platform but they've got to produce. So we have work to do in finding and pushing our young guys forward, that's the first thing.
I think our qualification system - Steve Stricker had six picks, Padraig didn't change from three - and maybe in hindsight it might have been better to have a few more, that might have helped a bit.
Steve Stricker also mentioned a lot about being able to have the Presidents Cup as a trial for partnerships. We know that Xander-Cantlay partnership, for example, formulated there, the friendship formulated there and it was an easy fit then.
We've lost the Seve Trophy, we've lost the EurAsia Cup in the last four years, we don't have that any more. Maybe we need to recreate that.
There are some systemic changes behind the scenes that we will need to look at: the qualification, bringing our young players forward and also then have some kind of a sounding board in the off years like they have in the Presidents Cup. So they would be the three things that immediately come to mind.
But I'm sure we will all be speaking behind the scenes in Europe, particularly with the team this week and the players and the captain and the people behind the scenes, and coming up with some new ideas.
McGinley, who captained Europe to victory at Gleneagles in 2014, was impressed with the United States' preparation this time…
I do feel emotional, captaining and playing with so many of these players who have suffered such a heavy defeat here. My friendship and alignment with Padraig and I know exactly how he feels and the pressure you have as a captain, it's difficult, particularly playing away from home, and he came up against the strongest opponent that I have ever experienced in my years of being involved in Ryder Cups. Both on and off the golf course and it's important to stress off the golf course.
I know not a lot of people believe a captain has a lot to do with it - and this is not blowing my own trumpet - there's so many changes to what America have done in the past that I've recognised and seen this week and there's no doubt that that is the platform from which the players have gone out and expressed themselves and played the way that they did.
Yes, analytics is a part of it, but it's a small part of it, it's preparing the players and providing a platform in a difficult environment, which is a team, and with partnerships to go out and perform the way they did. So congratulations to America first and foremost. They are a formidable opponent now on and off the course.
Rory McIlroy gave an emotional interview after winning his singles match against Xander Schauffele but he had earlier suffered three defeats…
I think that this is a hurdle that Rory faces, there's no doubt we all understand his passion for the game, that's quite clear we can see that. But when something really means a lot to him, whether it be trying to win a major championship, whether it be playing the Open Championship in Northern Ireland, whether it be a Ryder Cup and his allegiance to Europe and his allegiance to Padraig and his friendship and the input he's putting in, when something really means so much to him, it somehow gets in the way and he's not able to perform on the back of it and I think that interview just shows that.
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So that's obviously something he's going to have to channel in a different direction in order to get the performance out. We saw today and it's often the case with Rory when he gets his back to the wall and he gets himself out of the equation that's when he goes. That's why that decision to put him out No 1, although a lot of people questioned it, we said it's not a bad idea.
When he's at his best is when everybody is saying he shouldn't - it was back to the wall, there was nowhere else to go but play well and that's when he seems to go. That's something he's got to work with, when it really, really means something to him, there's obviously a block there.
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