McGinley resigns as Faldo's Ryder Cup vice-captain

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KILLENARD, Ireland, Sep 27 (Reuters) Paul McGinley has resigned as Europe's 2008 Ryder Cup vice-captain, team skipper Nick Faldo said.

Faldo denied the Irishman's decision had anything to do with him not being chosen as one of the Britain and Ireland Seve Trophy wild-cards by Faldo, who is also the team's skipper this week in Ireland.

''I spoke to Paul last week and he said 'I've got a lot of events coming up'. I can sense the rumblings and then we spoke this morning and he decided to withdraw his position,'' Faldo told a news conference yesterday.

The Ryder Cup will be played at the Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky from Sept. 16-21 next year.

''He told me he was really concerned about the workload that will be involved as vice-captain, because he wants to play himself into the team for Valhalla.

''Good luck to him. The man holed a winning putt on the Ryder Cup and that's the sort of player I want on my team.'' Asked if his decision to overlook McGinley for the match against Seve Ballesteros's Europeans might be linked to the Irishman's move, Faldo said: ''No, not at all. Playing is his priority. We chatted well together.'' Faldo did admit McGinley had demurred when he asked the Irishman to accompany him this week at the Heritage, where the action gets underway today.

''When I said to him 'did you want to come?' he said 'No, I'm preparing to play' (in the Dunhill Links Championship).

''If he's decided to commit 100 per cent to playing then good luck to him.'' While accepting McGinley's resignation, Faldo has not ruled out welcoming him back as a vice-captain.

''Things change,'' he said. ''We'll have to see what's happened in nine months time.'' In a statement, McGinley said: ''It was a great honour to be picked by Nick but, after careful consideration, I feel it is in my best interest to concentrate on playing myself into the team.

''I've played the last three matches and I want to play at Valhalla. I want to play for Nick and bring the Cup back to Europe again.'' Faldo chose McGinley and Jose Maria Olazabal as his vice-captains. Olazabal has indicated that he too wants to play at Valhalla.

''I might be on my own,'' Faldo joked. ''But I've got big enough shoulders.'' REUTERS BJR KN1426

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