2014 winning European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley is buoyed by what he saw at last week’s Hero Cup and believes strength in depth has emerged to compliment Europe’s strong core of players.
McGinley was on site at Abu Dhabi Golf Club acting as an advisor for both players of Continental Europe and Great Britain and Ireland and he was impressed by what he saw, believing some experienced campaigners from Ryder Cups gone by and some high ranked rookies would be strong additions to Luke Donald’s team in September.
“It’s just gain, gain, gain; win, win, win,” McGinley told Sky Sports. “We know what great players these guys are and I think we’ve got the bones of a really strong team. Rory and Rahm are arguably the best two players in the world, and then you put in the three English guys behind that in Tyrrell (Hatton), Tommy (Fleetwood) and Matt Fitzpatrick.
“Then there’s Shane and Viktor (Hovland), who are strong players high up in the world rankings who are going to be part of the team. Throw in maybe a Rose or a Molinari coming back, or an Alex Noren or even a Thomas Pieters and two guys right up the world rankings in Séamus Power and Straka as rookies and maybe a Bob MacIntyre, or one of the Hojgaards coming in or a Matt Wallace and that’s a cocktail for a very strong team.”
Although they can still qualify, it is expected that LIV exiles, Ian Poulter, Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson, Lee Westwood and Paul Casey won’t be part of the team with as many as eight players from the 2021 European team (including vice captains) set to be absent from Rome this year.
Undoubtedly Europe are going through a transitional phase, but with a strong core of players expected to make the team automatically, backed up by some emerging talent, McGinley believes Europe can still be successful in Rome and in Ryder Cups to come.
“We’ve been through this before. We had a changing of the guard from the Seves and the Langers and Woosies and didn’t miss a beat in winning Ryder Cups.
“I’m not going to say we’re going to be dominant and we’re going to beat the Americans because we know how strong they are. But I think we’re going to be in a great position to be really prepared to put in a great performance in Italy.”