Darren Clarke – The Ideal man to lead Europe’s next Ryder Cup charge.

Edgy February 19, 2015 0
Darren Clarke – The Ideal man to lead Europe’s next Ryder Cup charge.

Darren Clarke has been voted by the European tour committee as the next captain of the European Ryder Cup team and his selection is not straight forward and smart it follows a natural line of progression of successful European Ryder cup players and vice-captains. A Major winner in 2011 at the rain soaked Open Championship at Royal St George’s and vice-captain to Colin Montgomery in 2010 and Paul McGinley in 2014 Clarke has the pedigree and training to be very successful when the Ryder Cup travels to Hazeltine National Golf Club, Minnesota.

clarkechilloutClarke knows how to succeed at Ryder Cup level, of the 7 he has taken part in as player and Vice-captain Europe have won 6, his only defeat being in the American’s incredible comeback at Brookline in 1999. Mark James’s period as captain from that time has not been looked back with fondness by many of the player’s involved so as grounding’s go 5 examples of how to win and an example of what no to do is a decent start, even then the American’s came back from the brink to win that one so he know’s the importance of keeping cool. He has had the pleasure of working with and playing for some of the greatest European captains including Seve Ballesteros, Bernhard Langer and José María Olazábal, player’s captains and more importantly shrewd captains.

As a player he was a four ball’s specialist winning 6 and halving 1 of his 9 matches and his playing record includes a perfect three for three in the 2006 tournament at the K club. He has totalled 11 1/2 points in his Ryder cup career a 58% record. He has the playing career and the Ryder cup career required to do the job and he has learned under some of the best. He has more combined Ryder cup posts than both of the other captaincy contenders Miguel Angel Jimenez(5.5) and Thomas Bjorn(3.5) combined with room to spare, their combined 9 points falling way shirt of Clarke’s total.

dcooenPersonality wise Clarke has always been quietly charismatic, when he has spoken its worth listening to. He displays an attention to detail and level of perfectionism in his game. He will need to curb the frustration that he sometimes gets when things aren’t going his way but Clarke is savvy enough and mature enough to recognizes these traits in himself. Physically he is in the shape of his life, slimmed down and fit he knows it will take great stamina to Captain this team and either by accident or on purpose he has prepared himself for it. Gone is the chubby guy who loved a Guinness after the 2011 Open, instead there’s a leaner salt and peppered haired man who looks every bit the part of Captain. Plenty has been written about Clarke’s personal tragedies

He will have his work cut out for him, the American’s are stacking the deck in favor of revenge over player’s choice of Captain Fred Couples siding with PGA of America favorite Davis Love III, who was defeated captain in 2012 by José María Olazábal’s European side in the Miracle at Medinah. That defeat more than any other hurt the American’s, in the same way that their comeback at Brookline damaged the European team Clarke’s competition will be playing the revenge card heavily and building from that experience. Europe did the same after 1999, Sam Torrence who was vice-captain at that tournament won the following Ryder cup in 2002, and Olazabal, Montgomery and now Clarke all played in the bitterest of Ryder Cup’s. Playing Perennial Lee Westwood played in that tournament and Sergio Garcia, who has been a vice-captain since as has Padraig Harrington were also on the European team that lost in 1999, Europe’s worst defeat has grown into its strength and it would appear as if the American’s are looking to replicate that.

There will be plenty of intrigue around the 2016 Ryder Cup but there’s little doubt that in Darren Clarke Europe have selected the best man available for the job.

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