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Saturday 21 October 2017

Rory bares party soul as team toast Paul's colourful planning

Captain fantastic Paul McGinley was so meticulous in planning for the Ryder Cup that he even went so far as to ensure the goldfish were in the team colours.

The Dubliner explained that he wanted to instil a sense of pride and togetherness in the team room by ensuring absolutely everything was matching.

"Everything in the room was planned, from the carpet to the wallpapers to the images on the wall, to a big fish tank with (European) blue and gold fish," McGinley said. "It was the colours I was interested in rather than the breed. It was just a little, small touch.

"We had two rooms, a dining area and a lounge area. There was a big picture in the corner of John Jacobs, the first European captain, a big picture of the first Britain and Ireland team in 1927 and big pictures of Seve Ballesteros and Jose Maria Olazabal.

"We had a lot of different images around the team room. It was my idea for the fish tank," he added.

McGinley was clearly still on a high after Europe won for the eighth time.

And he admitted that the fish might be a bit worse for wear the morning after the night before.

"The fish are still there, swimming away, very happy, but they might have a few hangovers," he laughed. "A bit of wine may have been spilt into them."

The aquatic creatures certainly weren't the only team members feeling the effects yesterday after a heavy night of partying.

Rory McIlroy left little to the imagination when he stripped down to just a kilt and an orange wig to soak up the spoils of the evening with team mate Stephen Gallagher.

Europe's players Graeme McDowell and Lee Westwood also enjoyed some banter with policemen on the night.

It was clear the team were a bonded unit and McGinley said that he drew on the experience and advice of Alex Ferguson at several points during the planning to help bring about the epic success.

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But he said that no one should rule out the American side in the next meeting.

"They will come back very strong in two years' time and we have to be ready for that. That's what makes the Ryder Cup great - don't underestimate the Americans."

hnews@herald.ie

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