McGinley Adds Paddy, Miggy, and Ollie
By Torleif Sorenson on 9/3/14

When Paul McGinley named his three wildcard selections and finalized his roster on Tuesday, we thought we knew all of the dramatis personæ for Team Europe at the 2014 Ryder Cup. But now, McGinley has added a "triple threat" of star power... to his management team, that is.

On Wednesday, the captain of Team Europe named Pádraig Harrington, Miguel Ángel Jiménez, and José María Olazábal as assistant captains, joining Des Smyth and Sam Torrance in those roles. Smyth and Torrance were named assistant captains back in March, but their names sorely lack the special high-ASCII characters that Paddy, Miggy, and Ollie have in abundance.

We know what you're thinking: FIVE vice captains??!!

McGinley gave the standard, boilerplate, "we're delighted to have them" talk, and then elaborated on his move:
"I know it's been common in the past to have three or four vice captains, but I've gone for five because I feel an extra person is justified due to the additional workload which comes from being the home team, in addition to how well I saw such a system working when we ended up having five vice captains under Colin Montgomerie at Celtic Manor in 2010.

"I spoke about the reasons behind choosing Des and Sam in March, but the reasons behind having Pádraig, Miguel and José María on side are equally compelling.

"Pádraig is my oldest friend on Tour and is a guy I have known most of my life. We went to school together, came through the amateur ranks together, and have been together in many contests for both Ireland and Europe over the years, so I know what he can bring to the team room.

"As well as being a three-time major champion, Pádraig is also still very active on Tour, obviously in Europe where all the players know him well, but also in the United States where he is familiar both with the Tour itself and its players.

"As far as Miguel is concerned, he is someone that the spectators love as well as being very popular with all the players. However, he is also a person that I respect very much. I have sat beside him for over a decade on the Tournament Players' Committee and have seen him exhibit an integrity on many occasions that is very admirable.

"Miguel's appointment also maintains the continuity I was looking for when I named him captain of the European team for the inaugural EurAsia Cup match in March. He did very well in Malaysia that week and all the players in that team enjoyed working with him. It will be the same at Gleneagles.

"Finally, José María's passion for The Ryder Cup is recognised the world over. It was obvious in his legendary partnership with Seve and was also so very apparent two years ago at Medinah, so I'm delighted he has accepted my invitation to be involved again, once more maintaining that important continuity.

"Like Miguel, he brings a wonderful continental European flavour to the team room and is liked by everyone. He will also bring vital knowledge and experience of every element associated with The Ryder Cup, both on and off the course, which can only be helpful to the European cause.

"With these five guys in place, I have now completed both the playing and back room teams for Gleneagles. I have complete confidence and trust in all five of my vice captains and the help they will give me in the difficult quest of trying to retain The Ryder Cup."
Needless to say, the European Tour has already made sure that McGinley has plenty of administrative, logistical, and team services assistants working behind the scenes. The presence of Paddy, Miggy, and Ollie could also help boost ticket sales — if the event is not already sold out. Of course, add to the mix all the caddies, agents, swing coaches, spouses and girlfriends, family and close friends, television techs and photographers, reporters, etc., and Gleneagles may not have room for any more people.

Allow us to express mild surprise that he didn't also retain the services of the ghost of Seve Ballesteros, 10,000 amateur golf marshals from Perth and Kinross, and the entire cast of Up With People.

Some imbecile might even worry that so many people will be at Gleneagles that Scotland might capsize.

And while we're at it, how many Ryder Cup assistant captains does it take to screw in a light bulb?

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