McIlroy, Donald and Poulter back McGinley for Ryder Cup captaincy

Paul McGinley (R) captained Rory McIlroy in the Seve Trophy in 2009 when GB & Ireland took on Continental Europe

Story highlights

  • Rory McIlroy reiterates support for Paul McGinley in Ryder Cup captain race
  • World No. 1 backs Irishman for Europe's 2014 contest with United States in Scotland
  • McIlroy says Colin Montgomerie has "nothing to gain" by doing job again
  • Ian Poulter and Luke Donald also back McGinley to take captaincy

Colin Montgomerie might have masterminded Europe's charge to wrest the Ryder Cup back from the United States in 2010 but a hat-trick of the continent's best players are adamant he should not be allowed to reprise his role.

World No. 1 Rory McIlroy reiterated his support for 2012 vice captain Paul McGinley on the day he announced a new multi-year sponsorship deal with Nike.

The 23-year-old -- a two-time major winner -- claimed Montgomerie would have "nothing to gain" from taking the job on again and his stance was backed by English pair Ian Poulter and Luke Donald.

McGinley, a three-time Ryder Cup winner as a player, captained McIlroy at the Seve Trophy in 2009, when Great Britain and Ireland played against Continental Europe.

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"It's something I feel quite strongly about; I feel Paul deserves his chance," McIlroy told CNN from Abu Dhabi. "He's been vice captain a few times, he's holed the winning putt in the Ryder Cup.

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"I played under him as a captain in the Seve Trophy a few years ago and thought he was the best captain I've ever played under.

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"I think he's very deserving and I think it would almost be a little unfair if he didn't get it."

Earlier, at his Nike press conference, McIlroy said: "I personally don't feel Monty has anything to gain over this.

"If we go to Gleneagles and lose, he's already a winning Ryder Cup captain. I'm fully behind Paul and I think Paul should get the job and hopefully he does."

Poulter was instrumental in Europe's comeback against the U.S. in the latest installment of the biannual team competition, as they recovered from a 10-6 deficit to retain the trophy in what was known as 'The Miracle of Medinah' in October.

Donald delivered two vital points -- one in Saturday's fourballs and again in the crucial opening singles match against 2012 Masters champion Bubba Watson.

Along with McIlroy, both were instrumental in Montgomerie's winning turn at Celtic Manor in Wales in 2010 but none of the trio think the legendary Scot should be appointed again.

It had seemed to be a straight battle between 2011 British Open champion Darren Clarke, and Irish compatriot McGinley, who both served as vice captains to Jose Maria Olazabal in Chicago.

But when the Americans turned once again to Tom Watson, the last U.S. captain to triumph on European soil in 1993, Montgomerie's name began to circulate.

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Ahead of the announcement on either Tuesday or Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Montgomerie has emerged as favorite and the 49-year-old has confirmed he would do it again if asked.

But Poulter took to micro-blogging site Twitter to say: "Darren (Clarke) has taken his name out of the running for Ryder Cup captaincy. It would be fantastic to have Paul McGinley as the 2014 captain."

His view was shared by Donald, who became the first man to top the money lists on both the European and PGA Tour in 2011.

He tweeted: "I hope Paul McGinley gets his chance, he's been an amazing Vice Captain and deserves an opportunity."

The announcement will be made after a 15-man committee that includes Montgomerie, Clarke and McGinley meets to decide.