sport

McGinley to take Watson route

European captain Paul McGinley will follow in the footsteps of opposite number Tom Watson when he announces his remaining vice-captains for the Ryder Cup.

Watson named Steve Stricker as his third and final vice-captain on Wednesday, the 47-year-old joining Andy North, 64, and 71-year-old Ray Floyd on the US captain's backroom staff.

McGinley has so far chosen Sam Torrance and Des Smyth as his assistants and will confirm the others once the European team is finalised at the end of August.

"It's a very strong appointment from Tom," McGinley said ahead of the US PGA Championship at Valhalla, where a shoulder injury means the Dubliner is restricted to commentating, rather than playing.

"I know Steve very well. Not only has he been a great golfer but he's been a great person, as well.

\"I think he will complement very much what Tom has got in terms of Ray Floyd and Andy North in being a current player. It's something that I will be doing when I do appoint my vice-captains... those vice-captains will be current players."

Luke Donald, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood are all currently outside the automatic qualifying places for the European team and McGinley might have to use all three of his wild cards on players who were part of the 2012 'Miracle at Medinah,' when Europe came from 10-6 down on the final day to win.

But the 47-year-old is not guaranteeing anyone a place based on their past performances.

"I certainly have not told Ian Poulter he's going to be a pick. He knows that," McGinley added.

"But with his pedigree and his background, of course he has got a great chance of being one, but he needs to keep showing form just like all the rest of the guys do.

"He's very close to the team. He's only one decent performance away from being automatic on the team. He's not a huge worry for me because his form has been quite good and he's amassed a huge amount of points."