DARREN Clarke says it would be an honour to become Europe’s next Ryder Cup captain, but has denied being invited to take on the post.
• Clarke favourite to succeed Olazabal at Gleneagles 2014
• Lee Westwood backs former Open champion
Last year’s Open champion, who was one of Jose Maria Olazabal’s assistants in Chicago two weeks ago when Europe completed a comeback win over the United States, went on Twitter yesterday following reports and said: “To clarify… I have not been offered the Ryder Cup captaincy. It’s not decided by the committee until January. Would be a huge honour if asked.”
Clarke and Paul McGinley, another of the Medinah vice-captains, are the two front-runners for the job at Gleneagles in 2014.
Lee Westwood has come out in favour of his former cup partner, saying “He’s a major champion… tactically very astute. I think Darren has a lot of good things going for him.” But world No 1 Rory McIlroy has said he thinks Clarke might be a better fit for the match in Minnesota in 2016.
Ryder Cup director Richard Hills yesterday afternoon sought to dampen some of the speculation regarding the identity of the next European skipper.
He said: “No decision on the European captain for the 2014 Ryder Cup has been taken and none will be taken until, at the earliest, the Tournament Committee next meets – most probably during the Middle East swing in early 2013.”
Europe retained the Ryder Cup in Medinah on 30 September, coming from behind in Sunday’s singles matches to beat the United States 14½ to 13½. The next match will take place at the PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles on 26- 28 September 2014.