Clarke denies Ryder Cup captaincy offer

Published Wednesday, 10 October 2012
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Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke has denied even being offered the Ryder Cup captaincy, let alone having accepted it - despite reports to the contrary.

Clarke denies Ryder Cup captaincy offer
Darren Clarke is a favourite to become a future Ryder Cup captain. (© Getty)

Speculation has long been rife about when the popular Dungannon golfer will get a chance at the helm of Team Europe, after two stints as a vice-captain.

The first opportunity for him to do so would be at the next Ryder Cup, due to be held at Gleneagles in Scotland in 2014.

According to reports on Wednesday, Clarke has already accepted an offer to captain the side and an official announcement is imminent.

But the man himself took to Twitter to deny that was the case.

It has previously been thought Clarke may be a more likely choice for the captaincy in 2016, when the tournament will return to the US - due to both his popularity in America and to avoid any issues following his less than positive comments about Gleneagles as a Ryder Cup venue.

Clarke has previously branded it an "unbelievable" choice.

"The Ryder Cup is going to be played on the wrong course. I'm going to be ripped for saying what I've said, but I just can't see it as a Ryder Cup venue and it's a shame," he said.

In his latest tweet on the Ryder Cup, Clarke added that being offered the 2014 captaincy would still "be a huge honour if asked".

Fellow golfer and close friend Lee Westwood has admitted that he hopes the Dungannon man will be chosen - even over fellow contender Paul McGinley.

"Darren has a lot of things going for him," Westwood said, although he also backed McGinley's efforts as a vice-captain.

"Paul has played three Ryder Cups, Darren has played five and got a major championship and won a lot more tournaments than Paul.

"You have to have a criteria somewhere and I think Darren just edges it for me."

José María Olazábal has already confirmed he won't be continuing as captain after leading Team Europe to one of the most incredible comebacks in sport to take victory at Medinah in Chicago.

Both Clarke and McGinley served as vice-captains during that campaign, having both previously been deputies to Colin Montgomery at Celtic Manor in 2010 - where Europe also won out over Team USA.

Other names linked with the role include Thomas Bjørn and Paul Lawrie.

© UTV News
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