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September 29, 2014
SCOTT CROCKETT: Thanks very much for joining us this morning. Welcome, Paul, many congratulations once again. You'll have enjoyed a quiet night, 12 hours' sleep so you're fresh for the press conference this morning. Seriously, give us your thoughts on the morning after.
PAUL McGINLEY: Obviously, wow, for a start. Yeah, I don't think I could have written for things to have gone as well as they did. I feel very lucky to have 12 players to carry out -- it's all well and good me putting a plan in place and strategies but as I said yesterday, these guys do the work. I feel lucky to have 12 guys that were able to carry it out as well as they did. Very appreciative. That's six Ryder Cups now I've been involved in and six wins, and now, I do feel lucky.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Give us a sense of the messages you've had. You've had a lot of congratulating messages from family and friends and players.
PAUL McGINLEY: My phone is buzzing as we speak with text messages. It's been great. It's been funny, I just happened to have my phone at one stage during the night sitting with Sergio, and a text message come in from Luke Donald and that meant a lot.
Q. I think anyone who does that job as well as you've done has to have an edge to him and has to have a disciplinary aspect, as well. Was there any point where you had to flex your muscles at all?
PAUL McGINLEY: I had to make some tough calls, really tough calls. Like I just said, Luke Donald there, that still eats away at me; a guy like that who was so supportive of me to be captain and has been a great Ryder Cup player over the years, that was a tough call. Tough calls during the week. Ian Poulter not playing in the second afternoon. When all along I had thought that he was going to play, and he thought he was going to play and at the 11th hour, I decided Martin Kaymer and break up that dynamic of Poulter and rose which has been so successful. That was a big call. That went right down to the last minute. But the way Ian Poulter accepted that decision, I mean, he came out to me on the golf course in the afternoon, and he was consoling me. And I think that means more to me than the Ian Poulter banging on a heart and what he did on Medinah. As great as that was, the acceptance of the big decision like that, and putting his arm around me and saying, you make the calls, you're the captain, I'll be ready tomorrow. I mean, what more can a captain ask for.
Q. Watching Justin Rose over the first couple of days, I felt myself in the first time in my life developing a man crush --
PAUL McGINLEY: I think most people had it with Victor, though.
Q. Happened again with Sergio and G-Mac. Is this event unique in that respect, the effect it can have on people?
PAUL McGINLEY: Yeah, it is, that's what makes it so special. I said in my Opening Ceremony speech, a lot of thought went into that speech and effort, and we come from diverse and very different cultures and backgrounds, but together we stand as one, and we are. From the bottom of Italy to the top of Sweden, from the West Coast of Ireland right across to Turkey, my feeling right now is exactly the same as I had in 2002 the morning after my first Ryder Cup when I was fortunate to hole the winning putt. And it's not internal. It's not, oh, I feel great. It's not. It's the pride and what we've given for every single person in those four parameters I talked about, and that's why you feel it and that's why you feel like that man crush. You don't feel that after you've won a major championship, and that's what makes The Ryder Cup so special.
Q. Bit of a hypothetical, but as much as you talk about how they executed so beautifully, could this in any way, a successful captaincy if you're had not been?
PAUL McGINLEY: As I said in my closing ceremony speech, although America don't go back across the Atlantic with the trophy, I had other goals than winning The Ryder Cup this week, a lot of other goals.
Q. Can you say what they were?
PAUL McGINLEY: The big one was I wanted the players to leave with a sense of bonding towards each other that will last them a lifetime, and I'd like to think we've achieved that, irrespective of whatever the result was yesterday, I think that was going to happen. I feel very privileged to have been on this journey with Tom Watson who has been a great hero of mine throughout my life, and again, that was a win/win situation, like I said, as well, in my speech yesterday. The bonding, the connection, the memories, the photographs, the images, like I showed the guys the images Saturday night when we were showing the videos. I said: See these pictures, guys. And the last video I showed was great European success in The Ryder Cup, holding trophies, Seve, Tony Jacklin, go on and on and on as far as you can go, JosĂ© Maria, Sam Torrance, all the way, the great guys holing big putts, Graeme McDowell, Martin Kaymer and go all the way back to all the great successes we've had, the players have had in recent times. I said, remember guys, tomorrow's images, will be used in footage for future captains when they are making videos like this. Let's make moments to add to this, add to the catalog of success.
Q. You called Tom Watson a hero of yours, and this is a message you relayed a lot during The Ryder Cup process. How does it feel when you face a hero like that, and then beating him comprehensively; is that slightly surreal?
PAUL McGINLEY: It's not surreal. He's a competitor. There's no tougher competitor in the game of golf than Tom Watson. We all know. He's a competitor. He's incredibly disappointed. I saw him this morning. He's very disappointed, of course, but you know what, he's got that smile, that steely grin. Tom Watson is Tom Watson. He's a hard man, I've said that from day one, and he's a man I respect and and in the last two years, I respect even more, and my respect for him was way up there before. So I have the greatest respect to be able to share this journey with a hero of mine.
Q. Just wondering if there was any sort of turning point at any point during the week where you thought, I like the way things are going and I have a good feeling about the rest of the week?
PAUL McGINLEY: When Jamie hit his second shot into 15 (laughter). Honestly, I wasn't thinking ahead. I didn't feel under pressure at any stage. We were prepared for the Americans coming at us on Sunday morning. We were ready for that. The Ryder Cup is not seamless. You're playing against the top players in the world. There's going to be red on the board. This is the message on Saturday night when we had the meeting; if they get off to a good start, don't be disappointed. This is what happens. You're playing against the best players in the world. We can lose matches. You can go out tomorrow and shoot 7-under and lose your match. Stevie Gallacher played very well under par when he lost. That's what happens when you're playing this, so don't be afraid of seeing red on the board. But remember, you've got teammates, and like we've said all week, the mantra all week, wave after wave of attack. We don't hit with the first wave, hit with the second; if we don't hit with the second, hit with the third. We're coming m we're coming, we're coming; we're relentless, just like the way Man-United used to play.
Q. Could you give us perhaps a little flavour of how it went last night? Are there things you could tell us and are there other text messages that really meant a lot to you?
PAUL McGINLEY: I didn't get a chance to look through them all. Still ringing as we speak now. Just happened to be -- if you believe in fate, I happened to have my phone out for the one time during the night for some reason, I was moving it from one pocket to another and it dinged and I just happened to look and it was Luke. Last night was a special night. My wife gave me some of the advice I've ever had in my life in 2002 when I holed the winning putt. She said: Don't drink too much tonight, enjoy these moments, enjoy it. Don't drink too much or you'll forget about it. Have a few drinks, of course, let's share this, be merry, have fun, but let's not -- remember this. This is what's special. Alex Ferguson came into the room last night and that's exactly what he said, as well, too, exactly what he said. In his own terms, he said he felt like he was back in the boiler room this week; thank you for the pleasure. It's great that he said that, that he felt that connection with the players. All the players were up there treating him as a friend, having a drink with him, pulling his leg again. It was just great to see. It was just great to see. The team room that we were in, it wasn't too packed, so there was loads of room. It wasn't everybody putting up for selfies and autographs. It was just great. And a lot of our players went into the American Team room, played them in table tennis and we got our ass kicked (laughter). I'm glad that The Ryder Cup is not a table tennis championship. But that was great. That was great to see that, as well. Some of the players went out to their families that were in the bar and public area, as well, too. We moved around a little bit but initially we were together and that was great.
Q. With eight out of ten victories, there's a feeling that the pendulum has really swung back in Europe's favour in Ryder Cup and there's talk of bringing in the Aussies to help them, would you be up for that?
PAUL McGINLEY: No.
Q. Why not?
PAUL McGINLEY: Absolutely not. One thing the Americans are, they are very, very proud of their country. If you saw some of the American players like I saw backstage at the closing ceremony as well, there was tears in their eyes. This was tough. This really hurts. They will galvanise themselves. They are very proud people. They will come back and they will galvanise themselves and they will come back very, very strong in two years' time and we have to be ready for that. That's what makes it great. Don't underestimate America.
Q. Hearing about blue and gold fish this morning?
PAUL McGINLEY: Yeah.
Q. That sounds really extreme to me. Can you enlighten us?
PAUL McGINLEY: Everything in the team room, from the carpet to the wall papers to the images on the wall to a big fish tank, big fish tank with gold and blue fish.
Q. Did you choose the breed, what fish they were?
PAUL McGINLEY: Choose the colours, not the breed. As long as they were fish and they swam. But it was the colours I was more interested in rather than the breed. Yeah, it was great. It was just a little small touch. We had an area, two rooms, a dining area and you walked into an area which was like a lounge area. There was a big picture of John Jacobs, the first Ryder Cup, first European Ryder Cup Captain. A big picture in the corner of the first ever European Team, Britain and Ireland team playing the Ryder Cup -- took them a month to get there. They played great when they were leaving and they played terrible when they got there. Just a big, big black and white photograph of them actually on the boat. Obviously Seve and Ollie, big picture of them, as well, too. So we had a lot of different images around the team room but in that particular area, it was a transition area, so I -- we wanted something we could see through so the light, we could get light coming in from the windows in the far side. It was my idea for the fish tank and it worked great. They are still there swimming away, very happy.
Q. Are they staying there?
PAUL McGINLEY: They might have a few hang overs, though. A bit of wine might be spilt into them. I don't know what we'll do for them, but we'll find a home for them. There's been a number of requests actually for images in the room and stuff that we've done to maybe do a little portfolio of it and maybe exhibit it. It may be something I'll do for The Ryder Cup charity and we'll see if there's an interest in that, and maybe the fish tank can come and be part of that.
Q. Following up to the question earlier, obviously Europe have enjoyed so much success over the last 20 years or so, do you think there's any danger that the Ryder Cup is getting too one-sided?
PAUL McGINLEY: No, absolutely not. Anybody who witnessed that yesterday, there's no reason to reason to say that this Ryder Cup has a chance of going down. You have American pride, the American, we all know how proud they are of their country, very proud. They will galvanise themselves Americans, that's a given. We know that. Commercially, this Ryder Cup is going in one direction. From a media perspective, the size of the media room this way, it's going in one direction. The exposure and amount of people watching it throughout the world, the viewing figures are going up and up and up. There's no valid reason to think that the Ryder Cup is on the decline because we are winning.
Q. You've obviously been a roaring success, but the current trend is captains to have just one attempt one time; is that going to continue?
PAUL McGINLEY: One hundred per cent, a hundred, not even a question.
Q. Obviously you're now involved in appointing your successor, how do you think that's going to work and sort of the time scale, and will your relationship with Darren Clarke have any bearing, any problems if Darren is in consideration for 2016?
PAUL McGINLEY: Absolutely no problem whatsoever. I'm going to be very professional in my input. I was very much validated by the players. I'm going to get a large opinion from a lot of players and a lot of people before I put my opinion forward as to what it will be. I think in the next few months at some stage we will get together and discuss it. But I'm going to gather a lot of information just like I was very much pushed over the line by the players, I want to get the opinion of the players. I think we're very fortunate in Europe, a little bit like the Liverpool soccer team, right up to the boot room, and I think a lot of us have benefitted hugely from being vice captains. Darren has been a vice captain along with many other guys, as well, too. So we will see where that all evolves and I certainly won't have no issues whatsoever with that. I'll make a professional decision based on the views of people that I respect.
Q. Do you know a rough time scale of how it works?
PAUL McGINLEY: I have no idea the rough time scale but it should be -- I was just after Christmas, so I would say it would be a similar time scale. The captain really needs to get his feet under the table sooner rather than later because it is -- you're a figurehead for The European Tour. There's so many different aspects to the captaincy now, that it's important, it's very important from the Tour's point of view, as well, too, to have somebody in place sooner rather than later. We'll see. It's not imminent, but we'll see.
Q. Firstly, were you subjected to the site of Rickie Fowler and Bubba Watson wearing a mini-kilt and not much else last night?
PAUL McGINLEY: No, I didn't see that. I heard about it. It's great, though, isn't it (laughing).
Q. Touching on Tom Watson and how he's a hero and how he's only gone up in your estimation. When you see a hero disrespected as publically as he was yesterday by Phil Mickelson, how does that make you feel and do you think that's perhaps symptomatic of why The European Team do so well in The Ryder Cup?
PAUL McGINLEY: I didn't see the press conference yesterday and I don't really know what went on. I'm not privy to what goes on in the team room. I don't know the conversations they have had with each other and I don't really know and it's not right for me to comment on that. Honestly, and I really mean this, I have paid so little attention to what the Americans did this week in terms of Toms's strategy. There was only one thing I was interested in from the Americans' point of view, and I got our backroom team to do a tally-up on the Saturday afternoon when the teams went in to see how many of their players had played and how many number of matches. I was looking to see how fatigued they would be. That was all I was interested in. I didn't really look at his pairings and I didn't pay a huge amount of attention, and I really mean that. I was more interested in our stall. I have a certain amount of energy and mental energy and I just felt it was on our 12 players, and like I've said all week, I always felt morning session was on, I was planning the move for the afternoon. So even though all I was observing was making sure that the plan for the afternoon was okay and my conversations as I went around was not about cheerleading. My conversations were with the vice captains: Are we still on course for this plan, how is he doing, how is he playing, does he look good; okay, if we don't, what are our options, what do we do. And I said, well, I've got this option, what do you think of that. I always felt I was half a day ahead rather than be out there cheering and saying great shots. My job is to plot the next move, wind them up and let them go play.
Q. What did Luke say? What did his message say?
PAUL McGINLEY: I don't want to break too many confidences, but it was just very respectful to me, very respectful to the team and very regretful that he wasn't part of it. He knew, he could see, he could sense it, he knows exactly. He knew what captain I was going to be. He knows me well. He knows me very well. And disappointed that he wasn't there, very disappointed he wasn't there, but respectful to me and respectful to me and respectful for my decision. Certainly not questioning of my decision, far from it. It was just nice. It was a big, long text and I really appreciated it.
Q. What happens for you now that you're unemployed?
PAUL McGINLEY: (Laughs). Well I've got lots going on. I've got lots going on. I've got a little golf design business that does really well down in Ghana and we're going projects and trying to galvanise projects down there and I'm going down there in two weeks' time. I'm hoping bring this trophy for the first time to African soil, which will be great, and try to promote golf a little bit down there. The R&A are helping us with that. I'm hoping to play golf again. I'm exempt again next year to play on Tour and I hope to play in about 15 events next year. I might do a little bit of TV work, just a little bit. I've got lots of great sponsors that have been in place since I turn pro and that's continuing for the next few years. I'm sure they will want me to do a little more work away from the golf course maybe in business arenas which I'll be very happy to do. So I've got lots going on and a young family at home who are all very busy, as well, too. Yeah, I've got a lot on my plate but it's fun, it's really fun and I feel very privileged and honoured to be able to, as I say, sit out there, my sixth Ryder Cup and six wins; like a heavyweight fighter, I'll refire undefeated. Very happy.
Q. I know you worked very closely with Scott Miller preparing the golf course. Wonder if it lived up to expectations?
PAUL McGINLEY: A hundred per cent. Could not have been any better. Scott and Steve have been incredible. A lot of meetings with them over the years, or over the last two years. It could not have helped me any more and done exactly as we said. I came up to check on his work and it was like exactly what I said, which was along the lines, European Tour setup. I knew Tom Watson was a straight hitter. I knew he was going to play a straight bat. I didn't want to out smart myself. I didn't want to make decisions that could have backtracked against us if the weather had of turned a certain way. I wanted to play it straight back and be very much aligned with The European Tour schedule. That's what I told Scott. They had a programme, like me, they had a plan, and they had a programme the fertilisation that came towards the end coincided with a very warm, warm spell of good weather up here in Scotland. So the rough starting the week was a little bit thicker than weigh wanted but we managed that during the week and all the players are unified in saying that it was a tremendous setup and a great week.
Q. What time did you get to bed and when you went to bed, did you put your head in the pillow, was there an image of the whole day that maybe stuck with you?
PAUL McGINLEY: I went to bed about half two, three o'clock. I was one of the last to leave the team room. There was no other players left. Des Smyth was the only other fella left in there. When my head hit the pillow, it wasn't long before I was asleep, so there wasn't much time for thoughts to go through my head. I think just a real sense of satisfaction and pride. Like I said at the start, it's not internal. It's external; it's the pride and smiles we put on everybody's faces this week; that sense of bonding we created with each other and that sense of bonding that other people will create with each other. Even in the stands, you saw people high-fiving each other and bear hugging each other and that's what the Ryder Cup is about, that passion, that sense of bonding and togetherness, and that's what makes it so special.
Q. For the template to keep working, how many players do you think ideally need to be here in two years' time?
PAUL McGINLEY: Well, it always changes, we know that. We had a very strong team in Medinah and there was a few changes and players come in form and out of form, after such a long period of time away, and not to stop somebody else from coming back does doing. That's what's great about The Ryder Cup and our system that we have in place is everybody has got an equal opportunity to go and make the team, and then the captain's picks, as well, too, adds a bit of flavour to it, as well, too. I mean, the template has always looked around eight players is really what you're looking for, but it could be 12, you never know. But eight players is kind of roundabout the number that you normally see going over from one to the next. The main thing is people come in and out of form and they come and go. We'll just see where it goes but I know it will be a very strong team. I was very, very lucky as a captain, incredibly lucky to inherit the team I did. Think about it, when have Europe ever had four of the top five players of the world when the team was picked in the first week of September. I was gifted four of the top five players in the world. How lucky are you as a captain when you have that and you see guys like Jamie Donaldson running and jumping over the line the way. He did you look at Stevie Gallacher, running and forcing me to pick him when he deserved to be a pick the way he played in Turin and Czechoslovakia the week before. Incredibly lucky. Every single person was going that way into the team. Nobody was backing out. Everybody was going forward. I was lucky. I was really lucky.
Q. At the start of the week you said you had a gift for the players. Wondering what it was and the thought process that went into selecting the gift?
PAUL McGINLEY: My gift was something that as everybody knows, we are gifted watches every Ryder Cup. It's engraved right on the back of the watch of that particular Ryder Cup and where it was and the date. JosĂ© Maria's idea was wonderful, he gave us a lovely Spanish ham, 12 bottles of wine, and a lovely stand to put the ham in. We had a party our house last Christmas and we invited over about 30 people, and the wine didn't last long but the ham lasted for about a week right through Christmas. It was a brilliant present, it was a great present. It was hard to follow that. With watches in mind, I bought a mechanical watch case, so it's engraved with The Ryder Cup and you pull it back. You can see in and hopefully the idea is to fill it up with six watches, all six watches. I had to consider getting two for Lee Westwood, but one of the goals I told all the players is to fill it up with six watches, and that's your Ryder Cup cases where you can store your watches going forward, as well.
Q. What gave you the biggest buzz, holing the putt at The Belfry or watching Jamie hit that shot yesterday?
PAUL McGINLEY: That's a good question. The buzz at The Belfry was incredible. It was the first time I felt that kind of ecstasy, that since of, wow, just like I explained it in the press conference afterwards in The Belfry, it was like having a bottle of champagne and shaking it and shaking it and shaking it and all the fizz is trying to burst out, and that's how I felt inside when I hit the putt. When I hit the putt and the ball hit the hole, it was like an explosion of joy. Yesterday wasn't quite that explosion because I was very much in management mode. I was very much watching the reserve plan, if Jamie was going to get too nervous or if things went against us in that match, where the reserve plan was. So I was communicating with the other guys how Victor was doing and how Poulter was doing and how Lee was doing still on the golf course. So I had a plan, so it wasn't that pure explosion of joy. I was a lot more in management mode. So I would say to the answer to the question would be The Belfry for that reason but the sense of satisfaction is exactly the same.
Q. Of your personal Ryder Cup experiences, of the six teams you've been a part of, which was the toughest American Team you faced and what made them tough that week?
PAUL McGINLEY: That's a good question, wow, I have to think through those. I have to think through that. I mean, this was a strong team this week. I really believe this was a strong team this week. They were young, they were fresh, they were hungry. They came at us. They really came at us and we were lucky to get out of those fourball sessions with as many points as we did on both occasions. We were very fortunate in the foursomes. I mean, 7-1 over two sessions in the foursomes, it never happens. And it's not because we're better foursomes players than them. If you look back historically over the last number of Ryder Cups, and I selected a lot of stats as you know, I had a stats team there helping me with all my strategy all through this Ryder Cup, collecting all kinds of data and helping me formulate my plan. My plan was not just based on instinct. It was instinct based on a collection of data. I'm a great believer in the past determine the future and there's lessons in history. I had ideas. I had plans what we wanted to go but I wanted to see statistical data to back up my hunches. Statistical data also showed how strong this American Team was. Whether the team was formulated, as I say, the average ranking on the American Team, World Ranking, was 16. Ours was 18, and we had four of the top five in the world at the time. This was not a weak American Team. We were very lucky to come out of the afternoon sessions 7-1. Why that happened, I don't know. Certain partnerships worked. I think certainly the idea, I was very lucky to have Lee and Victor both playing -- or sorry, Victor and Jamie as rookies really, really on their game this week and playing great but I was more than lucky that I was able to putt two incredible guys with them. The fifth vice captain role was a very big role. Those particular guys didn't play the first morning session and they came out of the block so quick, like talking about wave after wave. The fifth vice captain role, I very carefully chose Des for the first vice captain and Ollie with the second one. Sam was in there, as well, too, but I wanted Sam on the golf course. Sam's Scottish, people love him. He gets applauded just walking onto the green. There was more benefit having Sam on the golf course. So I very carefully chose, and I had all this in mind when I was choosing my vice captains. They were all chosen for a particular reason. They all have strong golfing CV's, very strong validation as players and people as players that I could really, really trust, whenever they were giving me feedback, I could trust their feedback. So there was a number of reasons, and I think the two afternoon sessions were the key to winning this Ryder Cup. They set us up for the singles. Never in my wildest dreams would I think that we could have come out of both of those sessions 7-1. We were fortunate that things went our way but again, probably if you're going to say, one reason why that might have been, as much as all the other things I said, it was probably our strength and depth that we were able to come again with a new fresh wave in the afternoon with experience and youth.
Q. If you were consulting The PGA of America on going forward, since you seem to have this now recent history of winning, you have to have some thoughts on what you would say to them? What would they be?
PAUL McGINLEY: You think I'm going to advise America how to win The Ryder Cup? (Laughs). I mean, that's very hard for me to say. Very hard for me to say. I don't want to give anything away as to why I think we're winning Ryder Cups. I'm very much European going forward and I'm happy to help the future captains in any way that I can in terms of setting them up to be good captains and be successful captains. America are very strong and they are very patriotic and it means a lot to the players. This thing about the players not caring, I really don't buy into that at all. We do have a great sense of bonding and friendship with each other that is formed, not just this week, week-in and week-out on The European Tour and on the PGA TOUR. But America are coming. You have some great guys coming in, there's some fresh blood coming, there's some real fresh blood coming. This American Team is not down. It's not beat. It's not that far away from winning Ryder Cups, believe me. It's not far away at all. It's not like you're doing a million things wrong. Far from it. We were incredibly lucky and I mean incredibly lucky to win the last two Ryder Cups by one point. One point. It's nothing. We have seen what it's like in Ryder Cups, it's nothing, one point. You're not that far away. We won 7-1 the afternoon sessions. Outside of that, this was a very, very close Ryder Cup which you could have won. So it's not like you're a million miles away, but I don't want to give away too many secrets to be honest.
Q. You indicated you would do anything that you could to help future Ryder Cup Captains in Europe and someone had asked earlier about your relationship with Darren Clarke. If Darren Clarke happened to be The Ryder Cup captain, and he asked you to be vice captain, would you?
PAUL McGINLEY: I don't think I'd be vice captain to anybody going forward to be honest. It's unlikely that I would ever do that again. I think I've gone from a player to a vice captain to a captain. I've been six out of six. I've been very lucky that I've had six great experiences. I'm very happy to help going forward in an unofficial capacity but there's only certain people having to do vice captaincy again. I had two of them this week and I really appreciate for them to step back into the fold. That meant a lot to me. For me personally, I don't think I have the personality to go back in as vice captain. I've put so much on the table, I really believe that I would not like to be -- I would like to be able to support the new captain in whatever direction he went, and if I had a belief about a different area, I'm afraid there would be a conflict. So I can't see myself doing that role again. But having said that, I'm very happy to help in an unofficial way and advise them and help them in any way.
Q. You just touched on it there, in the almost disturbing attention to detail that you've put into all this; is part of the feeling now a sense of relief that there's a weight off your shoulders that it's worked?
PAUL McGINLEY: No. It's not relief, no. I don't feel relief. I feel so externally happy for what I've given to the players, to the backroom team, to everybody who has been involved. I mean, everybody, from Scott to David Park to Jamie Spence to the backroom team to the tailor who was there all week long adjusting our clothes. The sense of pride and the fun they have. It's one of the greatest weeks of their lives; it just touches your heart when you hear things like that. So it's not relief, far from relief. As I say, I had other goals this week rather than just winning The Ryder Cup, and I think I achieved a lot of those.
Q. What does unofficial capacity mean in your eyes and secondly, kind of a two-and-a-half parter, are you surprised to hear that Tom Watson has not been at a Ryder Cup on property since he was last captain, and why do you think it is that none of the last six or seven captains were even here this week?
PAUL McGINLEY: I saw Corey Pavin here this week. I know Curtis Strange was here this week, too. The first part of your question, unofficial means not being a vice captain, not part of the official party. I love the atmosphere. I love big atmospheres, whether it's a boxing match or whether it's a soccer match or whether it's a Gaelic football. I love big atmospheres, and there's no better than The Ryder Cup so I'll be going forward. Unofficial capacity means not being a vice captain. I find it very hard for me personally, because I want to be so loyal to the captain, and now that I've gone through it there might be some things that the captain would do that I would find it very hard to row in behind. So I wouldn't like to put myself in that situation. But I would certainly like to play a role, if required, a little bit like Alex Ferguson did this week to me. I bounced ideas off him. He didn't preach to me. He didn't tell me what to did, but what he did was he solidified my ideas and he gave me confidence that, yeah, my hunches were right, and yes, they were made based on statistics and what we've done, and my hunches and my experiences of being involved in Ryder Cups was right; and it gave me confidence to go forward with a strategy when the 12 players were in place, putting a skeleton plan in place. So I would like -- not like, only if should I be asked and I certainly won't be pushing myself forward. Whoever the next captain may be, if he has any questions, I'll help in any single way I can.
Q. And Watson?
PAUL McGINLEY: I don't know Tom -- you say he has not been to Ryder Cups in while? He's a big person. He's got so much credibility. I mean, he nearly won The Open Championship a few years ago. This guy is a competitor. This guy is tough as nails, we all know that. He was going to bring a dynamic -- we all know what he was going to bring to The Ryder Cup. He was going to be strong. He was going to be a very strong captain and he was going to lead it his way. I didn't pay a whole lot of attention to what they were doing. I was more interested in getting our ducks in a row. I'm not paying a huge amount of attention -- going back to Alex's question there, I don't pay masses amount of attention to what America are doing. I'm more concerned about us. We have made mistakes over the years, but I'd like to think we have rectified them and evolved them and then moved forward again. We make mistakes again and evolve and move forward again. A little bit like that Liverpool team where it's coming from within; I think that would be an idea that we will go forward on The European Tour. It seems to be working well for us.
Q. It didn't quite work out for you in terms of playing underdogs and didn't quite work out when you were trying to get that play for Donegal. Your mom and dad, they were there last night, wondering what they had to say to you. And also your children were here this week and I know you brought your son to see the home Internationals in Wales a few weeks ago. What were your children saying to you this week?
PAUL McGINLEY: It's been a great for them to see dad in the spotlight like I've been this week. They have enjoyed it, being inside the ropes, rode in the back of the cart every now and again. We had about 15 close friends that I managed to just see. I saw many people here that were friends who were watching but I managed to, there seems to be about 50 of my close family who were around when I finished yesterday. we went back to Dormie House and I was able to take them up to the hotel and I wanted to keep the main room for the players and the players guests. So I took the 15 or so people that were with me up into the meeting room and we got some drinks taken up in there and all the images obviously are still on the wall and we had a very strong meeting, exactly 24 hours previously in the same room and I was able to talk it through them what was happening and who was sitting where and what was said and how we went about it and explained images on the wall. Showed the quote of Jack Nicklaus on the wall and explained what we were trying to do and showed the Bose TV that Rory got for me that had the surround sound on it so the noise could really boom out. That was nice, had about an hour with them, had a drink and that was nice and they all drifted off and got buses back to the hotels and I went down and saw the players and all that. So that was nice.
Q. What did you get wrong this week? Great question for a winning captain.
PAUL McGINLEY: You always get things wrong. I think Stevie Gallacher's first match, I would have loved to have had more time to get Ian Poulter ready for that role. Stevie was a late addition to the team in terms of picks. I was able to get Victor and Graeme on the same page. I controlled the draws on The European Tour during summer and every time Graeme came to play with Europe, he played with Victor. They didn't know what I was planning but I had planned that they would be partners. I had identified Graeme as senior role. It's a very, very difficult place and thing to do is to be that senior partner. Not many guys can pull it off, very few guys. Seve was able to pull it of off. I remember winning a Ryder Cup with David Gilford and OlazĂˇbal, too. It's special to be able to that. Lee Westwood was on the shoulder of Nicolas Colsaerts in 2012 making ten birdies in his first-ever Ryder Cup match. No coincidence Lee Westwood was on his shoulder. Doesn't matter that Lee Westwood had two or three birdies. He carried a massive role this week, Lee Westwood, one of the reasons why he was a pick. Looked like I was going to have three rookies on the team. I needed a senior guy in there to sit on the shoulder. I still think that Ian Poulter will be great in that role. I wish I had more time. I wish I had more time to get him ready for that role and I could have drawn him a little bit more together during the year. I could have talked to him about it and evolved it like I did with Graeme.
Q. When did Graeme and Victor realise what you were doing? Did it take them a long time and did it concern you?
PAUL McGINLEY: I don't think they knew -- I think I shared it with Graeme after the team was picked. We had a big long phone conversations from Chicago airport -- is it Chicago airport I was in? I think I was Chicago airport on my way back from Valhalla, the morning after the PGA, and we had a good hour on the phone. We had a good hour on the phone, and at that stage, I had made up my mind that Graeme was going to be a pick if he had fallen out of the team. I knew that his wife was about to have the baby. I wanted him to share that and enjoy that experience and not feel the pressure of, if he just missed out on the team. So I shared with him, I said, look, you're more than likely going to be a pick. You go and spend your time with your family, get the baby born all healthy and well hopefully and then we'll move on to The Ryder Cup after that.
Q. You spoke about your plans to play again next season. What are your immediate plans after this? What have you got lined up for the next couple of months? Will you have a long lie down? What's the plan?
PAUL McGINLEY: No lie down. I'm not tired and I don't feel like I want to pull away. I think it's been great. I've really enjoyed the ride the last 18 months. It's been an absolute thrill and privilege and an honour. I'm seriously considering playing in the Dunhill this week. It's a tournament I've always enjoyed playing. I love playing on those golf courses. God knows where my golf game is. I feel like there's been no work gone into my golf game the last six months. Everything the previous captains have told me about your golf game struggling has been proved correct. First year, not so bad. Played quite well last year to be honest; when I played, I played really well. This year, it's really tailed off. When I've been on the golf course and on the practice ground, my mind has been drifting. It's not been there and I've not had the intensity and concentration you need to practice and play. So I may play that. I know I'm going to play the Portuguese Masters. Got an academy my down there and will do a golf day down there with my sponsors and treat them to a day's golf. I will do that the day afterwards in Quinta do Lago where my academy is. And then going to Ghana with this project I'm talking down there. We've been renovating the golf course there in Accra, the capital city, and that is now up and running we are going to officially open it in two weeks' time. The King of Ghana is going to come and play in the Pro-Am which is a great thing and a great guy. I've been fortunate to meet him over the last few years I've been down there, as well as everyone where else in the world. The game as we know, as I said in my speech last night, the game has challenges in the modern world, real challenges in the modern world and hopefully I can do a bit of a job in trying to promote that in countries like Ghana. We've got some academies down there at the moment, a driving range down there that are absolutely flying and queue to get in there and it's great to see.
Q. I'm sure everybody in the room will probably echo this thought, but on behalf of all the media thanks for all your help over the last two years, really appreciate it.
PAUL McGINLEY: Thank you, Derek. Thank you. (Applause). If I can respond, as well, too. All of you regular golf correspondents, particularly, you know who you are, really appreciate it. I've watched and observed. What's been happening in the media has been really important for me, not for me personally, for the position of the team. I wanted to make sure we were all on the right path. You mightn't agree with all my decisions, but that's okay. That's going to happen that's what you do. I really respected you guys and I really appreciate the fact that you rode in so far behind and you bought into the idea of Europe winning The Ryder Cup. I really appreciate that so thank you for your understanding and what you did for the cause of Europe. The guys are absolutely thrilled, absolutely thrilled to be sitting here with this trophy. Means a lot to us all, thank you.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports