He made the winning putt in 2002, when Europe trounced the United States, 18 ½-8 ½, and has a 2-2-5 career record in the event.
"It was a great honor to be picked by (Captain) Nick (Faldo), McGinley said in a statement, “but on reflection, and after careful consideration, I feel it is in my best interest to concentrate on playing myself into the team which I said from the start was my first objective."
Reports in newspapers in Ireland speculated McGinley’s decision came after Faldo “snubbed” him as a member of the Great Britain & Ireland team for this week’s Seve Trophy at Killenard, Ireland.
The 37th Ryder Cup will be played at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky., in September 2008.
The other European vice-captain is Spain's Jose Maria Olazabal.