Darren Clarke’s ‘cigar-chomping, Guinness-drinking’ ways would be best suited for the 2016 Ryder Cup captaincy in the States leaving the door open for Paul McGinley to captain Europe in two years time at Gleneagles.
That’s the view of Graeme McDowell ahead of this week’s $7m BMW Masters in Shanghai, and his first event since playing a part in last month’s Miracle at Medinah.
McDowell’s found himself in a Ryder Cup reunion in the Chinese financial capital with 11 of the winning European Team, the exception being Sergio Garcia, competing in the inaugural Tour event at Lake Malaren.
Also present is Europe’s victorious Captain, Jose Maria Olazabal and vice-captains McGinley, Clarke and Miguel Angel Jimenez.But while Clarke, via a European Tour memo, has drawn a line under any further talk on the 2014 Captaincy question, McDowell considers McGinley would be best suited to Gleneagles and Clarke more welcome to the beer-swelling Americans in 2016 at Hazeltine.
“Both Paul and Darren would be great captains in their own right but then Paul has kind of forged a little niche for himself given the way he has conducted himself in the Seve Trophy and the Ryder Cup vice-captaincy roles,” said McDowell.
“He’s a scholar of the game and a strategist and would probably be technically, if that’s the right word, a good captain.
“Darren would emotionally be a great captain and a great motivator, and also with that big personality he possesses.
“Darren’s credentials may be better but I think he would make for a great captain in America as they love him over there. His personality suits America and they see him as the cigar-smoking, Guinness-drinking nice guy that he is.
“So, Darren would go down well in the States whereas Paul also has all those traits that would make for a great Ryder Cup captain.
“However both would bring different personalities to the team room but then both would be very effective.”
Also joining McDowell backing McGinley is former World No. 1 and double Ryder Cup winner, Luke Donald.
Donald, who joked his fellow Chicago residents had stoned his Windy City house following Europe’s success at Medinah, singled out McGinley’s ‘diligence and enthusiasm’as impressing the Chicago-based Brit.
“From a personal point of view, and probably because I have spoken a little bit more to McGinley, I find him a little bit more outgoing with me,” said Donald.
“Paul always seems very up for the challenge.
“But then I do believe that if he doesn’t get it this year, he probably won’t get it, at all. Whereas, I feel like Darren will have other opportunities.
“So I would support McGinley as he’s been very diligent, very enthusiastic and whenever I have been around him I have enjoyed it.
“He just has a really good team vibe. He seems to think about the small things. That’s just what I’ve noticed.”
The European Tour Tournament Players Committee will meet in Abu Dhabi early next year to vote on a replacement for Olazabal.