• The Ryder Cup captain talks about the US task force
• Revealed captaincy has come at a cost to his own game
DARREN CLARKE | RYDER CUP
Darren Clarke has rubbished claims that he's the captain under greater pressure heading into the Ryder Cup – hinting that the creation of the US task force has actually made it the other way around.
The 2011 Open champion has been in America for a series of media trips alongside friend and opposite number Davis Love III over the past week and explained how he sees the dynamic heading into the match at Hazeltine in less than five months’ time.
“The bookies have the Americans as favourites for a start,” Clarke told GolfDigest. “Do I think I’m under more pressure? No. Europe’s been on a wonderful run and I hope that continues.
“ shows how much they care. If they didn’t care, they wouldn’t have called it. It’s a huge compliment to them that they embarked upon this to figure out what they could do better. Does that put them under more pressure? Possibly. But it’s just a huge compliment to the Ryder Cup itself.”
Clarke, who will make his three captain’s picks after the Made In Denmark which finishes on August 28, also revealed he’d have no hesitation to pick up the phone to tell one of his close friends that they wouldn’t by part of the European team.
“I talk to them all frequently and they know that a difficult moment will come when I make my three picks,” he said. “It’ll be a hard phonecall if I have to lift it to a couple of my close friends to say ‘I’m sorry, you haven’t made the team’, but if that’s what I have to do, I have no problem doing it. I hope that they’ll respect me enough that they respect my decision.”
And the Northern Irishman revealed that his added interest in the fortunes of his prospective Ryder Cup players has come at a complete cost to his own game, which he classed as ‘awful’.
“I hardly ever watched golf before – now I’m watching everything,” he said. “I’m watching to see how some of the potential players are doing, looking at their stats week in, week out, so it’s all changed immensely but that’s part of my role.
“My game is awful – it’s so bad right now. But that’s not important right now – the important thing is the Ryder Cup and that I do as good a job as I possibly can for the European Tour. My personal golf game takes a back seat. I still practice but mentally I’m not at the races.”
Darren Clarke :: Will he lead Europe to glory?
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