Paul McGinley picks vice-captains for Ryder Cup

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Paul McGinley has selected Padraig Harrington, Jose Maria Olazabal and Miguel Angel Jimenez to be his vice-captains for the Ryder Cup which starts on September 26.

The three will join Des Smyth and Sam Torrance in the captain's backroom staff for the event against the United States at Gleneagles.

Old hands

All three vice-captain's bring a wealth of experience with them that McGinley will be hoping they can pass onto his team. Olazabal has made seven appearances in the event and was the captain in the last Ryder Cup, the memorable victory for Europe at Medinah in 2012.

Compatriot Jimenez has competed four times in the Ryder Cup with the Spaniard being vice-captain to Seve Ballesteros in 1997 and Olazabal in 1999. He was also made captain by McGinley of the European team in the first EurAsia Cup.

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McGinley explained his reasoning behind having five members of staff to assist him throughout the event.

McGinley said: "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 (Sergio Garcia was a late addition)."

Countryman and friend

The 47-year old captained also explained why he had picked fellow Irishman Harrington as a vice-captain for the upcoming event.

"Padraig 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," McGinley added.

McGinley explained that being a fan favourite was one of the main reasons why he picked Jimenez.

"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," the captain said.

Veterans to lead debutants

Olazabel's seven Ryder Cup appearances give him invaluable experience to pass on to the likes of Steven Gallacher, Victor Dubuisson and Jamie Donaldson who are making their debuts in the event and McGinley is delighted to have him on board.

"Finally, Jose Maria'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," he said.

Overall, McGinley feels that he has selected his staff wisely and thinks they can all contribute as Europe aim to defend their crown.

"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."

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