Ryder Cup 2014: Paul McGinley hails team character

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Europe's Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley has hailed his side's character after they recovered from a disappointing morning to take a 5-3 lead after day one at Gleneagles.

McGinley's men trailed 2.5-1.5 after the early session but took 3.5 points out of a possible four in the afternoon, allowing Eueope to take a two-point lead into the final two days.


McGinley thinks that his team can build momentum from their turnaround and hopes they can build from their excellent afternoon.

“We’ve seen it in Ryder Cups over the years, how important momentum switches are and how it can really have a domino effect," the skipper told Sky Sports.

With the scores favouring the visitors halfway through the day, McGinley hailed the spirit shown by his players to quickly turn the leaderboard around.


"When the surge came from America at the end of the session this morning, for our guys to react as well as they did, shows real strength of character.

“To have blue on the board, in all four matches, within, I think, six holes in the afternoon, I think just shows the ability we have in this team.”

Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia looked to Europe's best pairing on paper, but lost their fourball in the morning on the final hole to Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley.

They looked on course for their second defeat in the afternoon when they trailed Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker by two holes with just two to play, but finished birdie-birdie-birdie to half the match.

Crucial half

McGinley refused to think that McIlroy and Garcia were affected by their last gasp defeat in the morning and think their half point could prove as crucial as a full point come the end of the event.

“There was no over-reaction to what happened this morning,” he said.

“Sometimes you go out, don’t play quite well, and you get beaten. It was a point lost in the Ryder Cup and we move forward.

“They went out in the afternoon and rectified it, to a large extent, and that was probably as good as a win to be honest, to come back from where they were.”

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Rookies step up to enjoy dream debuts

McGinley will have been impressed with rookies Jamie Donaldson and Victor Dubuisson who played their part in victories for Europe.

Donaldson and Lee Westwood beat Jim Furyk and Matt Kuchar two-up while Dubuisson and Graeme McDowell stroll to victory over Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley 3&2.

McGinley was thankful for the partners of the debutants who guided them through their first Ryder Cup experience.

The rookies had great partners,” McGinley reflected. “I think Lee and G-Mac, you couldn’t ask for better partners in your first Ryder Cup. That was huge."

Difficult day

Stephen Gallacher also made his debut in the morning but experienced a difficult day as he and Ian Poulter were easily defeated with fellow rookies Patrick Reed and Jordan Speith.

McGinley admitted that things didn't go to plan with Gallacher and Poulter but was pleased with two debutants winning out of the three.

“Stevie (Gallacher) had Ian Poulter and we thought that dynamic would work as well but that happens in Ryder Cups.

“It doesn’t always work, it’s not a perfect science, but two out of three from the rookies today was not bad."

McGinley also called for his team to take the momentum gained in the afternoon into Saturday morning as they hope to extend their lead.

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