Ferguson was a guiding light, says victorious McGinley

Mon Sep 29, 2014 8:21am EDT
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By Tony Jimenez

GLENEAGLES Scotland (Reuters) - Captain Paul McGinley has saluted Alex Ferguson for his contribution to Europe's triumphant Ryder Cup campaign, calling the former Manchester United manager a guiding light to him and his team.

The 72-year-old Scot, who ended a glittering 26-year spell at United when he retired from soccer 16 months ago, was a constant presence in the locker room as Europe beat the United States by 16-1/2 points to 11-1/2 on Sunday.

"My wife gave me some of the best advice I've ever had in my life in the 2002 Ryder Cup when I holed the winning putt," McGinley told a news conference on Monday. "She said, 'don't drink too much, just enjoy these moments.

"Alex Ferguson came into the room last night and that's exactly what he said as well. He said he felt like he was back in the boiler room, thank you for the pleasure.

"I bounced ideas off him all week, he didn't preach to me, he didn't tell me what to do but what he did solidified my ideas and he gave me confidence that my hunches were right," McGinley added.

"He also felt that connection with the players. All the players treated him as a friend, having a drink with him, pulling his leg again. It was great to see."

Ferguson, for his part, said on Sunday that he got more out of the Ryder Cup experience in his native Scotland than McGinley and his team.

"It was fantastic to be in their company," he added. "Both sides are the best players in their countries and the whole of Europe.   Continued...

Captain Paul McGinley poses with the Ryder Cup after the closing ceremony of the 40th Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in Scotland September 28, 2014. REUTERS/Phil Noble