Sam Torrance insists he is happy to take a back seat to captain Paul McGinley in this year's Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.

As the man in charge of a winning side at The Belfry in 2002, Torrance knows just what will be required in September when Europe attempt to retain the trophy won in such dramatic fashion at Medinah two years ago. But the 60-year-old Scot, who also played in the contest on eight consecutive occasions from 1981, is content to act as the "sweeper" in his role as vice-captain along with Ireland's Des Smyth.

"Is there a danger of too many chiefs, not enough Indians? I'm not a chief, I'm an Indian," said Torrance yesterday. "I'm happy to take a background role this time. That's exactly where we'll be, in the shadows.

Loading article content

"The analogy I use is curling, when the skip lets go of the stone and Smythy and I are the two sweepers, clearing the way for Paul all the way to the cup.

"To me the captain sometimes appeared like your headmaster at school, someone you didn't really want to bump into. Paul's not going to be like that at all. He's going to be a great captain, I really do believe that."

The Ryder Cup has been played in Scotland just once before, at Muirfield in 1973, and Torrance would love to see a home player make the 12-man team.

Stephen Gallacher looks to be the only Scot capable of qualifying automatically and Torrance, who was speaking on behalf of Standard Life Investments, worldwide partner of the Ryder Cup, said: "It's not imperative, but it would be fantastic to have one in and Stevie is your man who looks like making it.

"He's got himself in the top 50 in the world, which gets you in all the WGC events and majors, and over the next three months that's where it's going to be decided. I think this might be his time."