McGinley backing McIlroy at Hazeltine

Paul McGinley is backing a re-energised Rory McIlroy to be in fine form at the Ryder Cup later this month.

The former Ryder Cup captain, who lead Team Europe to victory at Gleneagles two years ago, believes McIlroy has addressed his putting woes and will be a force to be reckoned with at Hazeltine.

"He is Europe's highest-ranked player and we all know how talented he is," the Irishman said of McIlroy, who has two wins this year. 

"Apart from winning the Irish Open, he's had a quiet year particularly on the PGA Tour and in the major championships.

"But he addressed the problems he was having with his putting, hired a new coach and that was validated with his win in Boston.

"It has given him a lot of confidence and I think we'll see a buoyant and energised Rory McIlroy at the Ryder Cup." 

Team Europe Captain Darren Clarke has shown confidence in a new crop of golfers and named no less than six rookies in his squad. 

Masters champion Danny Willett, Chris Wood, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Andy Sullivan and wildcard pick Thomas Pieters, along with 22-year-old Matthew Fitzpatrick, will make their Ryder Cup debuts this year. 

McGinley backs Clarke in his selection and believes many of the rookies have experience beyond their years.
"The European team have six rookies heading to Hazeltine, but I don't think that will be an issue or a concern," added the 59-year-old.

"They are all experienced players, they've all won big tournaments, and they have all performed on the big stage. They are young, vibrant and they will not be intimidated by the atmosphere of a Ryder Cup in the United States."

The 41st Ryder Cup tees off at Hazeltine National Golf Club on 30 September.