GLENEAGLES, Scotland – Whose game will fit best with the mysterious Victor Dubuisson?
That’s a question that has occupied European captain Paul McGinley this past year as he explored possible pairings for this week’s Ryder Cup.
McGinley believes personality compatibility is vital to pairings, and that posed a challenge for him as he sought to figure out just who Dubuisson is, beyond scores and stats. When Dubuisson held off Tiger Woods and Justin Rose to win in Turkey late last year and made such a large impression finishing runner-up at the Accenture Match Play Championship, he was a bit of a mystery to a lot of his European colleagues.
“It's very difficult to know what to make of Victor,” Lee Westwood said Tuesday. “He's quite shy. He's quite unpredictable. He's got a lot of flair. He's got tons of game.”
McGinley, like so many of Dubuisson’s peers, didn’t know what to make of the Frenchman either when he first burst into the Ryder Cup picture.
“Yeah, it's a challenge,” McGinley said. “My job as captain is to get to know each player, what makes them tick, what their personality is, what their background is. I like to get a real good profile of them, their family background, where they live, how they live their life and how they play golf, and that all hopefully makes me make good decisions.”
McGinley feels good about what he has learned about Dubuisson.
“I made it my business to get to know him over the last six months, which I think I have done,” McGinley said. “He's a really great guy. I like him. I think he's got flair. I think he's got charisma. I think he's got Hollywood looks. He would do just as well in Hollywood as he would on the golf course. There's something special about him, and I kind of like that fact that he's different.”
McGinley appears to have found a good fit for Dubuisson in Graeme McDowell. McGinley sent them out in practice together with Henrik Stenson on Tuesday.
“I think I'm one of a few players that could fit the bill,” McDowell said. “I've heard him described as an enigma, and just a tough guy to kind of get your head around what he's thinking. Obviously, he doesn't lack for talent. He is sort of a relaxed-mood personality, could be confused with maybe intimidation and nervousness. I've kind of been trying to sort of get close to him the last few months and spend a little time with him. He's a great guy. We do have a great team room this week with some dynamic personalities, and Victor, I think, can bring a huge amount to the team. Yes, I would very much embrace the task of, sort of the expression, blooding a guy like Victor, and I would love to play with him.”