David Taylor looks at who may be the next Ryder Cup captain for the European Team following Paul McGinley's heroics at Gleneagles
Next Ryder Cup Captain: Europe’s decision
Now the dust has settled on the 40th Ryder Cup attention will soon turn to the next event at Hazeltine National Golf Club in two years’ time.
With the Americans turning on each other within hours of the final putt it seems inevitable there will be a shift in their approach before they tee off in Minnesota.
But what about the Europeans? People have queued up to praise Paul McGinley’s fastidious approach but is this a template that can be used in future tournaments or will the next captain have his own ideas on a winning formula?
Darren Clarke has already expressed an interest and would be a hugely popular choice amongst fellow pros but it’s not as clear-cut a decision as it first seems.
The Ulsterman is odds-on favourite and has received the backing of Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell but a well-publicised falling out with McGinley could come back to haunt him.
This year’s skipper will have a say in the next appointment so Clarke may have some bridges to build before the decision is nailed on.
This could leave the door open for a number of other contenders including Thomas Bjorn, Padraig Harrington and Miguel Angel Jimenez.
Whoever takes the baton, however, it is clear from the reaction to McGinley’s approach they will have some pretty big shoes to fill.
The Dubliner’s attention to detail brought to mind the famed ‘marginal gains’ approach of cycling’s Sir Dave Brailsford.
Nothing was overlooked it seems right down to the fish in the European team room being coloured blue and gold.
Whether this can be fully replicated at a Ryder Cup on American soil is doubtful but the next skipper would be foolish not to seek out McGinley when forming their own strategy.
This year’s skipper will be joined by former captains Jose Maria Olazabal, Colin Montgomerie and two European Tour committeemen to make the ultimate decision over the next few months.
McGinley doesn’t seem the sort of man to hold a grudge and Clarke will be hoping his fine Ryder Cup record along with his rapport with the American public will be enough for any past issues to be overlooked.
Whoever ultimately gets the nod, however, will be grateful to have the little Irishman’s number in their phone. His charismatic persona and modern methods have been a revelation to players and backroom staff alike and may well have set the template for further success in years to come.