McGinley will have advantage over Watson in 2014 Ryder Cup: Ian Poulter
The 2014 Ryder Cup is still a good year and a half away, but it's already front of mind for Europe's hero of the 2012 match, Ian Poulter.
Poulter has written a column for the April edition of the British golf magazine Golf World in which he says that unheralded European Captain Paul McGinley will have an advantage over U.S Captain Tom Watson.
"In many ways he will know his players better than Tom will know his, if for no other reason than he is a lot younger and so much closer to them in terms of playing," Poulter wrote about McGinley, as quoted by Reuters. "That may prove a big advantage. He will know what makes us tick and what we like – that's healthy.
"Tom, because of his age, will inevitably be slightly more detached from his team," Poulter added. "He won't have played as much with the current crop of players."
Having said that, however, Poulter bows to the stature Watson has achieved through almost half a century of excellence.
"Paul may have only played in three (Ryder Cup) matches but we are never going to find a captain in Europe whose stature, record and career can begin to compare with Tom Watson," he wrote. "We have to look at it as a bit of a David and Goliath affair. No one is expecting Paul to go toe-to-toe with Tom – he can't – Paul just needs to be Paul."
Poulter also said the European players might have objected had McGinley, who has been a captain in the Seve Trophy and a vice-captain in the last two Ryder Cups, not been given the job.
"It would have upset a lot of people as well as some of the players – and that becomes a very dangerous thing to do," said Poulter. "It is going to be such a close match, the last thing in the world that Europe needs or wants is to start the week with a few players not in the best of moods.
"As players we thought Paul was the best man for the job," he explained, "and that's why many of us made a public stand for him in the days leading up to the decision because we thought it was the right thing to do."