Golf

Paul McGinley On Allowing Victor Dubuisson's Mates Full Ryder Cup Access

Paul McGinley On Allowing Victor Dubuisson's Mates Full Ryder Cup Access

As the anticipation builds for the 2021 Ryder Cup this week, a lot of eyes will be on captain Padraig Harrington.

Harrington, of course, isn't the first Irishman to lead a team of Europeans, with Paul McGinley and Darren Clarke in charge in 2014 and 2016.

While Clarke fell short at Hazeltine in the States, McGinley was victorious at Gleneagles in Scotland by a five-point margin.

Speaking to the 'Local Knowledge' podcast by Golf Digest, McGinley gave a fascinating insight into what's involved as a Ryder Cup captain.

One story in particular stood out about Frenchman Victor Dubuisson. At the time, Dubuisson had automatically qualified for team selection.

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He was just 24 at the time and one of the youngest serving Ryder Cup members. McGinley recalls how he managed Dubuisson by letting his three mates be a part of the tournament.

"(Victor) had three really close friends who weren't really golfers that he grew up with. They were important for his mental wellbeing, they were important as a support group and a network for him to be there."

McGinley then invited them along.

I said 'No problem Victor, bring them along. I'll get them rooms there, they'll stay in the hotel no problem, we'll sort them out, we'll get them inside the ropes passes they will be there on your shoulder.'

In what was an incredibly sound gesture by McGinley to involve Dubuisson's close circle, it painted the larger picture of the intricacy gone into McGinley's captaining run.

While managing individuals is one aspect of that, so is the ability to take a step back. Something McGinley believes he mastered.

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"You're taking guys who are trained from the age of 13. With an individual selfish mindset, I include myself in this is a golfer, you have to be somewhat selfish to be successful in this game."

"So trying to take that mindset that they've been in since the age of 13, or 14, and take them in one week, every two years, and all of a sudden turn them into incredible teammates and incredible bonding.

"That's, that's something I don't think can be achieved," he said. "Don't contaminate what they do on a week to week basis ... let the bonding happen naturally, no, don't force it."

Dubuisson was eventually paired with Graeme McDowell and two won foursome matches against Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley, and Jimmy Walker and Rickey Fowler.

The Frenchman also featured in the final singles matchup, opposite Zach Johnson, and halved the match for the Europeans.

See Also: Whistling Straits: The US Ryder Cup Venue That Wants To Be Irish

Irish Course Ryder Cup

Jonathan Byrne

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