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Saturday 16 December 2017

Clarke: I will seek advice from Paul

Darren Clarke will lead Europe at Hazeltine next year
Darren Clarke will lead Europe at Hazeltine next year

DARREN Clarke admitted it would be remiss not to put his personal differences with Paul McGinley to one side and seek advice from his predecessor after being named Europe's Ryder Cup captain for 2016.

The 46-year-old (pictured), who played in the biennial contest five times and was a vice-captain in 2010 and 2012, was unanimously chosen ahead of Miguel Angel Jimenez and Thomas Bjorn by a five-man selection panel at Wentworth.

The selection panel consisted of the three most recent captains - McGinley, Jose Maria Olazabal and Colin Montgomerie - along with European Tour chief executive George O'Grady and players' representative David Howell.

McGinley and Clarke's relationship has been severely strained since Clarke put himself forward for the 2014 captaincy, having previously sent McGinley a letter supporting the Dubliner's candidacy.

And when Tom Watson was named US captain in December 2012, Clarke suggested Montgomerie should also be considered as ''whoever it is standing on that stage opposite Tom Watson needs a huge presence''.

McGinley admitted last year his conversations with Clarke were now ''short and sweet" but Clarke will consult McGinley after the Dubliner's leadership at Gleneagles received widespread acclaim.

"It would be very foolish for me not to follow the same formula," Clarke said. "With everything that came out of Gleneagles and the unbelievable job that Paul did there, I would be foolish not to speak to Paul and all the other captains before that.

"The team bonding and spirit they had at Gleneagles is obviously something I would love to replicate. I will try to pick off as much info as I can from all the previous captains. I think it would be very remiss of me if I didn't do that.

"It's not about me, it's about the players and to try and make sure the team has an enjoyable week, which is quite difficult in a stressful atmosphere that the Ryder Cup is."

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