• "I got things wrong," admitted the 2011 Open champion
• But the pair have now buried the hatchet ahead of Hazeltine
DARREN CLARKE | PAUL MCGINLEY
Darren Clarke has admitted he was in the wrong following the Ryder Cup captaincy fallout between him in Paul McGinley prior to the 2014 match at Gleneagles.
The 2011 Open champion, who will be leading Team Europe at Hazeltine later this year, betrayed the Irishman by writing a personal letter endorsing his captaincy, only to put himself forward before then backing Colin Montgomerie.
And Clarke told the Mail on Sunday that what he did was a huge mistake – but that the pair recently made up with McGinley willing to share any advice with the Northern Irishman.
“Hindsight is a wonderful thing,” said Darren Clarke. “I have made some mistakes in my career. We have all made some mistakes. I held my hands up and I got things wrong. Just with what was going on around that time.
“Did I support Monty that much? No. I was just trying to do what I thought was the right thing for the team. I wasn’t against Paul. I just saw options.
“We have buried the hatchet and we are moving forward. We have drawn a line under it. He offered me all sorts of advice. He couldn’t have been better. That feels good because we were very close growing up all the way through our careers.”
Clarke also said there wouldn't be any favouritism in his wildcard picks for the match. Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter - who were Clarke's two additional picks in the landslide EurAsia Cup win - currently look unlikely to qualify automatically, with Clarke admitting he's willing to put friendships on the line to take the strongest possible team to the US.
"The Ryder Cup is much, much more important than an old pals’ act" - Darren Clarke
"An old pals’ act? How could I possibly do that?" he said. "The Ryder Cup is much, much more important than an old pals’ act. That does not happen. No chance.
"I would have no problem with saying to Lee I was picking a rookie instead of him for a wildcard. Lee would be my best mate but I would have no problem. Why? Because it’s for the team. It’s not individuals. You have got to manage individuals’ egos but the team is there together.
Darren Clarke :: Ryder Cup team
Despite what he says, do you think Darren Clarke will pick his friends Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter for the team if they don't qualify automatically? Leave your thoughts in the 'Comments' section below.