McGinley set for playing return

After all the Ryder Cup excitement, victorious captain Paul McGinley will make his playing return at this week’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on the European Tour.

McGinley devoted himself to his role as European captain, giving it his undivided attention in recent months, and the 47-year-old admits he has no idea how he will perform with clubs in hand in Scotland this week.

A shoulder injury also contributed to him playing just once on the European Tour since July, but he’s all set for a competitive return in the pro-am event played over the Old Course at St Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns.

“I’m not tired and I don’t feel like I want to pull away,” McGinley said after Europe’s five-point win over the United States on Sunday. “I think it’s been great. I’ve really enjoyed the ride the last 18 months. It’s been an absolute thrill and privilege and an honour.

“The Dunhill is a tournament I’ve always enjoyed playing, I love playing on those golf courses. God knows where my golf game is. I feel like there’s been no work gone into my golf game the last six months.

“Everything the previous captains have told me about your golf game struggling has been proved correct. The first year was not so bad. I played quite well last year to be honest. This year it’s really tailed off.

“When I’ve been on the golf course and on the practice ground, my mind has been drifting. It’s not been there and I’ve not had the intensity and concentration you need to practice and play.”

McGinley will be joined in the tournament this week by four members of his winning team – Rory McIlroy, Martin Kaymer, Victor Dubuisson and Stephen Gallacher – as well as one of his vice-captains, Padraig Harrington.