Darren Clarke eager for Ryder Cup captaincy at Hazeltine

Darren Clarke is popular in America
Darren Clarke is popular in America
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Darren Clarke would love to be Europe’s Ryder Cup captain.

The 46-year-old was in contention to be captain for this year’s contest at Gleneagles before ruling himself out, with Paul McGinley appointed in January 2013.

The 2016 Ryder Cup will be held at Hazeltine in Minnesota and Clarke can imagine himself leading out the European team in front of a receptive American crowd.

He said: “I would love to be Ryder Cup captain. I’ve played in five and been involved in two others and it would be a huge honour if I was to be asked at some stage. If they were to offer me the job I would certainly not be picky as to when it would be.

“I’ve always been fortunate throughout my career in that I seem to have been quite popular with the American fans. They have always been very, very good to me over there.

“Wherever, I just hope at some stage that they do ask me to have the ultimate honour and be Ryder Cup captain.”

The Northern Irishman was overlooked for a vice-captain’s position in Scotland but will be at the PGA Centenary Course as a television pundit.

Rory McIlroy believes the former Open champion would be suited to taking the job across the Atlantic.

“There would be no better candidate,” he said. “He is absolutely loved over there (the USA). He would be just as well received in the United States as probably the United States captain.

“So, it can only be an advantage for the European team if Darren was to lead us out.”

McIlroy, who also voiced strong support for McGinley’s candidacy late in the selection process, was interviewed with Clarke and Graeme McDowell for a programme entitled ‘Major Champions’, to be aired on BBC1 Northern Ireland tonight and BBC2 on Thursday.