We didn't panic and it paid off, says McGinley

Fri Sep 26, 2014 5:07pm EDT
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By Mitch Phillips

GLENEAGLES Scotland (Reuters) - Paul McGinley leaned on all the experience gained as a player and vice-captain in five previous Ryder Cups to ensure he kept his head after a tough first morning and it paid off with Europe's record-breaking comeback performance on Friday.

The hosts trailed 2 1/2-1 1/2 after the opening fourballs in which their biggest names -- Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter -- misfired horribly.

McGinley, however, decided to stick largely to the plan he had for the afternoon and was rewarded when Europe posted their best-ever foursomes result, a 3 1/2-1/2 victory to secure a 5-3 overnight lead.

"Something I've learned from Jose Maria Olazabal, from Monty (Colin Montgomerie) and from the guys I've been vice captain under and guys I've played under is that you're not going to win every session," he told reporters.

"We've lost more sessions than we have won in recent times but it's important not to panic and it's important to look at the 24-hour period rather than just one session and then assess and go again.

"I had an overall, as I call it, a skeleton plan. What I saw in the morning, I still thought there was no reason to change that. I wanted to get all 12 players out on the course today and we did that. Now I feel we're in a better position to adapt and make decisions going forward."

McGinley's decisions certainly looked good in terms of the performances by the men rested in the morning.

Lee Westwood, in his ninth Ryder Cup, and Jamie Donaldson, in his first, played superbly to begin the fightback by beating Jim Furyk and Matt Kuchar.   Continued...

European Ryder Cup player Rory McIlroy acknowledges the crowd as he stands with captain Paul McGinley (L) on the first tee for his fourballs 40th Ryder Cup match at Gleneagles in Scotland September 26, 2014  REUTERS/Phil Noble