Skip to main content

Rory McIlroy: Ryder Cup captains not as important as everyone thinks

Getty Images

ATLANTA – This probably won’t be elevated to bulletin-board status because, deep down, players on both sides of the Ryder Cup divide likely agree with Rory McIlroy’s assessment of captains. But it is an interesting take from a player who will one day captain his own team.

“The captain doesn't hit any shots and that's what I always say,” McIlroy said Friday at the Tour Championship. “I played under some pretty average captains, I played under some really good captains and we have won both times.

“I'm not trying to play down the role of the captain, but I don't think it's as important as everyone thinks it is. The players are the ones on the golf course hitting the shots and holing the putts.”

Full-field scores from the Tour Championship

McIlroy’s thoughts came after he was asked how involved European captain Padraig Harrington has been the last few months.

“I would say a little more of a distanced captain than the last few [captains], I feel like Thomas [Bjorn] basically took a year and a half out from his career to really focus on the captaincy,” he said. “Padraig is still pretty competitive, he's got a PGA Tour card, he plays over here. He more than the last few captains has had to try to balance that.”