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Golf: McGinley upbeat despite Seve Trophy snub


Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley is resigned to being without six of last year's victorious Medinah team members teeing up in next week's Seve Trophy in France.

Qualifying for the biennial event featuring a Great Britain and Ireland team up against a European team ended on Sunday.

McGinley, as incumbent Ryder Cup captain, oversees the Seve Trophy including picking both rival captains in Sam Torrance and Jose Maria Olazabal.

However he's already been advised the top six qualifiers on the Great Britain and Ireland team will not be competing at the tournament held near Versailles.

The six include the three leading Great Britain and Ireland qualifiers and US Open winners Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and Graeme McDowell.

Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter also will be absent.

"I knew that the top GB & I qualifiers were not going to play but then there is no excuse for the younger guys not to play, and the guys who don't hold dual European and PGA Tour membership," said McGinley.

"As far as I am concerned it will be a great learning experience for the younger guys like Jamie Donaldson, Stevie Gallacher, Chris Wood and David Lynn.

"That's one of the reasons I first chose an experienced past Ryder Cup captain in Sam (Torrance) and then Jose Maria (Olazabal) so the younger guys could learn a lot from those two.

"And this is how I see the future of the Seve Trophy heading, as our leading players are competing in the FedEx Cup each year at the time of the Seve Trophy."

McGinley was speaking as he and rival USA Ryder Cup captain, Tom Watson boarded a specially commissioned steam train from Edinburgh's Waverley Station bound for Gleneagles in a series of celebrations to mark a 'Year To Go' until the commencement of the 2014 Ryder Cup.

"The captains were joined by Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond, Minister for Sport, Shona Robison, European Ryder Cup Director, Richard Hills and PGA of America President, Ted Bishop.

There were also a number of celebrity ambassadors including actor James Nesbitt, JLS star Marvin Humes and ex-European star footballers, Alan Hanson and Ruud Gullit.

Upon arrival at the Gleneagles Station a commemorative flagstone was unveiled ahead of McGinley and Watson playing nine holes on the PGA Centenary course.

"The Ryder Cup is an iconic event in the world's sporting calendar and what better way to kick if off than to arrive into Gleneagles Station in a 1927 built steam train, and the year the Ryder Cup was first played," said McGinley.

"There is tremendous excitement already around the Ryder Cup with a year to go, so you can only imagine what it will be like when we get to next September."

Watson remarked: "I am grateful for the opportunity to be captain in Scotland, a country that has been very special to me during my career.

"It's also hard to believe it was nearly 20 years ago I enjoyed one of the thrilling experiences in my career in being the American captain in 1993.

"Now I look forward eagerly to being back here next September again as USA captain."

Meantime - the European Tour has announced that qualifying for the 2014 European Ryder Cup team will end at next year's Italian Open.