• Darren Clarke sees off the challenge of Jimenez and Bjorn
• The Ulsterman said to be the players' choice
• His opposing captain is highly expected to be Davis Love III
DARREN CLARKE | RYDER CUP
Darren Clarke has been chosen as the man to lead the European Ryder Cup team at Hazeltine in 2016, seeing off the challenge of Miguel Angel Jimenez and Thomas Bjorn.
The Ulsterman’s fate was decided as a five-man committee of European Tour chief executive George O’Grady, players’ representative David Howell and the past three Ryder Cup captains Paul McGinley, Jose Maria Olazabal and Colin Montgomerie met in a meeting at Wentworth, with the official Team Europe Twitter account tweeting:
Clarke, a one-time major winner at the Open Championship in 2011, has a strong association with the Ryder Cup and was part of Team Europe for five consecutive tournaments from 1997 through to 2006, winning on four occasions. He was also a vice-captain to Montgomerie and Olazabal in 2010 and 2012.
But it was in 2006 when Darren Clarke made his biggest impact on the Ryder Cup, playing at the K Club in Ireland just six weeks after the death of his wife Alison. Clarke was embraced by members of both sides at the end of the tournament, where he picked maximum points from the matches he played in.
Darren Clarke had always been the front-runner for the captaincy and seemed to be the players’ first choice with fellow Northern Irishmen Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell keen to see him take the reins, while Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter were also said to be in favour.
It is highly likely that Clarke will be facing off against Davis Love III, who is expected to be officially announced as Team USA captain on February 24.
The American will be seeking revenge after being on the receiving end of the 'Miracle at Medinah' in 2012, while Clarke will be looking to continue the recent success at the Ryder Cup, with Europe winning six of the last seven competitions.
Darren Clarke named Team Europe captain :: Your thoughts
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