Updated: 29/09/2013 19:49 | By Press Association

Stenson form impresses McGinley



Paul McGinley has been impressed with Henrik Stenson's superb form

Paul McGinley has been impressed with Henrik Stenson's superb form

Captain Paul McGinley believes 11million dollar man Henrik Stenson is already 85 per cent of the way to securing his place in next year's Ryder Cup - and insists he has no worries about some of Europe's other "flatlining" stars.

Stenson has won twice since the qualifying process for Gleneagles 2014 started, claiming the Deutsche Bank Championship and Tour Championship to also secure the 10million dollar bonus for winning the FedEx Cup.

That has left the 37-year-old Swede top of the World Points List with 136 points, just 36 less than the total with which Germany's Martin Kaymer - who ensured Europe retained the cup in last year's 'Miracle at Medinah' - secured his place on the 2012 team.

"Our points list is heavily weighted in favour of the world points list and Henrik has won twice in the FedEx Cup play-offs," McGinley said during a Q&A in Perth as part of celebrations marking one year to go to Gleneagles.

"He is 85 per cent there already and we are only in October. You can safely say that everyone in this room would have a bet that he can get that extra 15 per cent.

"At the start of the year the hot word on tour from the caddies was that Henrik was playing great, even though his performances were not quite showing that, and sure enough the caddies were proved to be right."

In contrast to Stenson's brilliant form, the likes of former world number ones Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy, as well as Ryder Cup heroes Ian Poulter and Graeme McDowell, failed to qualify for the 30-man field in the Tour Championship last week.

Stenson's win at East Lake lifted him to fourth in the world rankings on Monday and dropped McIlroy down to sixth, but asked if he was worried about the form of his star names, McGinley added: "Not at this moment. If it was this time next year I would be worried.

"Last year the players were very dominant going into Medinah in their individual performances, we had a lot of success. This year we have a couple of guys who are flatlining but things can change so quickly in golf.

"There is a long way to go and I know I used to play better every second year when I knew Ryder Cup points were available."

Europe have won seven of the last nine Ryder Cups and American captain Tom Watson is desperate to regain the trophy and repeat his success at The Belfry in 1993 - the last time Europe lost on home soil.

Watson will be 65 at Gleneagles, which has led to fears that he will be out of touch with his players, but the five-time Open champion said: "I think some of the criticism of me is unfair, saying that I am old. That's just a fact.

"The other side of the coin is that I have been there before and the players know that I have been there before. It has not changed. In 1993 I said that I hoped I could bring some levity to it because the pressure is enormous; sometimes it's oppressive. You have to get that to subside in some way.

"Last year was great theatre even though we lost. We hope the theatre will be just as good next year but the outcome might be a little different."

0Comments
10 reasons to make MSN UK your homepage (© Microsoft)

latest golf news

  • Hennie Otto stormed into the lead in Turin

    As a South African he cannot compete in the Ryder Cup, but Hennie Otto may still have played a significant part in deciding Europe's team in the Italian Open.

  • European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley, right, and America captain Tom Watson have some decisions to make

    The Deutsche Bank Championship offers a prize fund of almost £5million with £870,000 going to the winner, but it will also effectively act as the last qualifying event for the Ryder Cup.

  • Trish Johnson set the pace at the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open

    Trish Johnson made a barnstorming start to the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open with a six-under 66 helping her to a three-shot lead.

  • Francesco Molinari feels he needs to win to deserve a wild card

    Stephen Gallacher is the only player who controls his Ryder Cup destiny, but it was Francesco Molinari who did most to boost his chances of making the European team in the Italian Open.

  • Stephen Gallacher's Ryder Cup fate is in his own hands in Turin

    Stephen Gallacher believes he has already had the best year of his career as he seeks one more good performance to secure a Ryder Cup debut on home soil.

  • Liberty National will host the Presidents Cup in 2017

    Liberty National in New Jersey has been chosen to host the 2017 Presidents Cup, the PGA Tour has announced.

  • Tiger Woods, pictured, and swing coach Sean Foley have parted ways

    Tiger Woods has ended his professional relationship with swing coach Sean Foley.

  • Graeme McDowell, pictured, will miss the Deutsche Bank Championship after becoming a father on Monday

    Graeme McDowell will sit out the Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston after becoming a father on Monday.

  • Hunter Mahan sealed the sixth PGA Tour win of his career

    Hunter Mahan produced a near flawless final round to clinch a two-shot victory in the opening FedEx Cup play-off at The Barclays in New Jersey.

  • Jamie Donaldson has secured his place at the Ryder Cup

    Jamie Donaldson has booked his place in the European team at this year's Ryder Cup after winning the D+D REAL Czech Masters by two shots.

  • Jason Day holds a share of the lead at The Barclays  AP

    Jason Day and Jim Furyk are tied for the lead heading into the final day of The Barclays while an inconsistent third-round performance left world number one Rory McIlroy five strokes off the pace.

  • Jamie Donaldson has lost his lead in Prague

    Jamie Donaldson still has his Ryder Cup destiny in his own hands, but will have to work hard if he is to earn his place on the European team this weekend.

  • Paul McGinley, pictured centre, with Des Smyth, left, and Sam Torrance, right, face tough decisions on Monday

    European captain Paul McGinley will leave it to the last minute to decide on his Ryder Cup wild cards, admitting "something spectacular" could yet influence his decision.

  • Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy followed up his opening-day 74 with a 65 on Friday  AP

    Rory McIlroy roared back on the second day of The Barclays with a brilliant six-under-par 65, but the world number one still trails joint leaders Adam Scott and Cameron Tringale by five shots heading into the weekend.

  • Jamie Donaldson is in sparkling form in Prague

    Jamie Donaldson remained on course to secure his place in the European Ryder Cup team with a 69 in the second round of the D+D REAL Czech Masters.