Paul McGinley has a chance to further his claims to the European 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 Sept. 15-18.
The 44-year-old Dubliner, who led the side to a 16 1/2 to 11 1/2 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.
2011 JOHNNIE WALKER CHAMPIONSHIP
The Johnnie Walker Championship again is being played on the PGA Centenary Course at the Gleneagles Resort, which also is the venue for the 2014 Ryder Cup.
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 for the Continental Europe team.
Current Ryder Cup Captain Jose Maria Olazabal was given the task of choosing the two captains, and he admitted to PA Sport earlier this month that Darren Clarke was among those under consideration to lead Britain and Ireland until he won the British Open and cemented his place on the team.
With the Vivendi Seve Trophy event clashing with the FedExCup playoffs in America, it remains to be seen how many stars turn down a match that carries extra significance this year following the death of Seve Ballesteros, in whose honor it was first added to the European Tour schedule in 2000.
"It's a great honor to be invited back as captain. I enjoyed it enormously last time,” said McGinley, who also served as one of Colin Montgomerie's vice-captains in last October's Ryder Cup victory at Celtic Manor. "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,” he added. "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."
Qualifying for the two teams ends after next week's Omega European Masters in Switzerland.