European Ryder Cup vice-captain Paul McGinley believes Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia‘s recent victories have given team Europe the initiative ahead of the 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club.

McGinley – who was announced as one of Jose Maria Olazabal’s four vice captains, alongside Darren Clarke and Thomas Bjorn, last week – believes European chances have increased of late.

“Rory winning was very, very important – psychologically it was big for our team and also a bit of a blow for the Americans to see us returning to form a bit,” he said.

“And Sergio winning was phenomenal, too. We lost a bit of momentum to them over the summer, but the last two weeks things have turned around.

“It’s going to be a really, really tight Ryder Cup. I put it on par with The Belfry – I think we did incredibly well to win that one.”

McGinley was instrumental in that victory, holing a six footer on the 18th green to secure the Cup, and is fancied by many as a future European captain.

“I prefer not to talk about that at the moment,” said McGinely. “I think that we have to respect this Ryder Cup and respect this captain and I think it’s important we stay focused on that.

“This is a really, really tough challenge and there will be plenty of time to talk about 2014 afterwards.”

Clarke, McGinley’s fellow vice-captain, said it would be hard to turn down any prospective offer of captaincy.

“I think it’s a case of if the Ryder Cup committee were to ask me to be captain then I think it would be disrespectful to say no, wherever they asked me,” Clarke said.

“My hat has never been out of it. I still hope to play a little bit more yet, but if I was asked it would be a very tough position to say no.”