McGinley counts on experience

European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley is banking on past experience to make the right decisions at Gleneagles this week.

The veteran Irishman made something of a contentious decision when he decided to pair two wildcards – Stephen Gallacher and Ian Poulter in the morning fourballs.

From the outside, McInley’s decision seems as something of a gamble, considering that the American team’s combinations are mostly tried and tested.

Nevertheless, McGinley – who has generally led the European team with aplomb in the lead-up to the event – is unconcerned.

“Of course I always worry about everything but, like the players, I go out with no fear,” he admitted.

“I know I’m going to get things wrong. It’s not a perfect science. People make mistakes and we’ll have to see but I’m confident.

“I have a lot of experience, and I have some great experience and guys on my shoulder making decisions and pushing me in certain directions.

“I ask them to punch holes in my ideas, that’s what their role is.

“But I’m confident I’ll be making more right decisions than worse ones. That’s what you do as captain.”

His American counterpart Tom Watson decided on playing all three of his rookies for Friday’s first salvo: pitting Spieth and Patrick Reed against Gallacher and Poulter, as well as pairing Jimmy Walker with Rickie Fowler.

That decision means two of his three highest ranked players – Jim Furyk and Matt Kuchar – were left on the sidelines.

“It just fitted the formula, it’s my own personal formula, the way we took all the parameters, put them together,” Watson said.

“You can bet that Kuchar and Furyk, and Zach Johnson and Hunter Mahan will be playing in the afternoon.”

The first quartet on the tee is Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson together with Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson.

The next fourball contains Thomas Bjorn and Martin Kaymer, against Fowler and Walker, before Gallacher and Poulter square off against Spieth and Reed.

The final four sees Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia take on Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley.