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Chazza 18-02-15 03:13 PM

The Ryder Cup 2016
Darren Clarke confirmed as European Captain.


Darren Clarke named Europe's Ryder Cup captain for 2016

Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke will captain holders Europe in the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine, United States.

A five-man panel selected the 46-year-old ahead of Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez and Thomas Bjorn of Denmark.

Clarke has won the tournament four times as a player and was a non-playing vice-captain for wins in 2010 and 2012.

He said: "The Ryder Cup has been a massive part of my life and my career, so to have the chance to lead Europe next year is a huge honour."
Clarke succeeds Irishman Paul McGinley, who led Europe to a five-point victory over the USA at Gleneagles in 2014.

The 2011 British Open champion has lost just once in the seven times he has been involved in the Ryder Cup, when the US won at Brookline in 1999.
After a quartet of victories as a player - in 1997, 2002, 2004 and 2006 - Clarke helped successive captains Colin Montgomerie and Jose Maria Olazabal achieve success.

Clarke said: "I am lucky to have played and worked under some fantastic captains in my seven Ryder Cups to date and I look forward to the challenge of trying to follow in their footsteps and help Europe to a fourth consecutive Ryder Cup victory at Hazeltine next year."

The memorable win under Olazabal in 2012 became known as the Miracle of Medina after Europe fought back from 10-6 down going into the final day's singles to win 14-13 on US soil in 2012.

Montgomerie and Olazabal were both on the European Tour's five-man selection panel, which also included McGinley, tour chief executive George O'Grady and former Ryder Cup player David Howell.

Montgomerie said the decision to appoint Clarke had been unanimous, adding on Sky Sports News: "We have selected a captain that I am convinced will retain the Ryder Cup and bring it home.

"It's an unenviable task; America want it back badly and he will have all our support."

Clarke, who first played in the Ryder Cup under Seve Ballesteros and has won 11.5 points from his 20 matches in the tournament, was not involved in the 2014 win under McGinley after running against him for the captaincy.

He later withdrew from the race but his relationship with former room-mate McGinley reportedly cooled after he appeared to back Montgomerie to lead Europe at Gleneagles.

The Ulsterman headed into this vote with the support of high-profile players such as four-time major winner Rory McIlroy, countryman Graeme McDowell and former world number one Lee Westwood.

He is competing in the Dimension Data pro-am in South Africa this week - along with eldest son Tyrone - but has struggled with his game in recent seasons.

In contrast, Jimenez is still competing on the European Tour at the age of 51 and has also been winning titles on the Seniors Tour.
Bjorn, meanwhile, qualified to play at Gleneagles and finished on the winning team for a third time in three appearances.

Davis Love III, 50, is expected to be confirmed as captain of the United States Ryder Cup team on 24 February, four years after he led the side at Medina.

Norbs 23-02-21 10:45 PM

Was Tiger involved in this?

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