The Americans, under skipper Watson's predecessor Davis Love III,
had one hand on the trophy when they took a 10-6 lead into the final
day at Medinah, only for Jose Maria Olazabal's side to stage a
remarkable comeback to win by 14 1/2 points to 13 1/2.
"All three of us are under no illusions how strong the American team
is going to be," McGinley told reporters on Thursday after naming
fellow Irishman Des Smyth and 2002 skipper Sam Torrance as his
"They're going to be very well led by Tom Watson and we know we're
up against it. They're like a wounded animal after what happened at
Medinah and they will be a highly-motivated team.
"But that's good. It's a real challenge to look forward to and it's
what makes the Ryder Cup so special," added McGinley.
Torrance, 60, holds the record for the most tournament appearances
on the European Tour with 706 and has a proud Ryder Cup history.
The Scot holed the winning putt at The Belfry in 1985 when Europe
ended a 28-year victory drought and appeared in the biennial team
event eight times in a row between 1981-95.
"The main guys that Paul would want in his team have all had a good
start to the year and it's all bubbling along nicely," said
"We've got one rookie virtually guaranteed a place in Victor
Dubuisson and he looks fantastic. He is a breath of fresh air and to
have a rookie as strong as that is great news."
Dubuisson, 23, announced himself on the world stage by landing the
Turkish Airlines Open title in November, beating a field that
included 14-times major champion Tiger Woods and U.S. Open winner
The Frenchman then produced a swashbuckling display in the final of
the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona last month,
conjuring two magical escapes from the desert scrub in the playoff
before losing to Australian Jason Day at the 23rd hole.
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"I am looking forward to meeting some of the younger players that
I haven't seen live yet. Victor looks a wonderful player and I know
Rory McIlroy," said the 61-year-old Smyth.
"The nucleus of the team looks good. A lot of the guys that won two
years ago are going to be back but you can see there's some young
players showing that they can make it."
Smyth, who won eight times on the tour and played in the 1979 and
1981 Ryder Cups, will also act as Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez's
vice-captain at the inaugural EurAsia Cup match between Europe and
Asia in Malaysia this month.
Torrance said McGinley, the first Irishman to be appointed captain,
had all the right credentials to lead Europe's 12-strong team at
Gleneagles from September 26-28.
"Paul's been a vice-captain before and he's also been a captain at
the Seve Trophy," said the veteran Scot.
"He knows all there is to know, we're just there to nudge him along.
I played in eight Ryder Cups and it was the most nerve-wracking
experience of my life.
"But I can honestly say as captain that I was the most relaxed I've
ever been at a golf tournament — probably because I didn't have to
The U.S. has not won the trophy in Europe since 1993, when Watson
was captain for the first time.
(Writing by Tony Jimenez; editing by Ed Osmond)
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