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Dublin: 11°C Tuesday 20 April 2021

Darren Clarke: Watson appointment a 'bolt from the blue'

The Irishman says that Jose Maria Olazabal’s replacement will have to be chosen careful.

Image: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire/Press Association Images

DARREN CLARKE SAYS that the appointment of Tom Watson as captain of the US Ryder Cup team came as a ‘bolt from the blue,’ and has not ruled out Colin Montgomerie for a second outing in charge of Europe.

The tournament committee meets next month to decide who will lead Europe into the 2014 event at Gleneagles.

Clarke was one of the favourites, along with Paul McGinley, to take on the challenge but he admits that Watson’s appointment could herald a rethink.

“I think it could well affect who is appointed,” said the 44-year-old.

“A lot of people, myself included, were surprised when Tom Watson was appointed.

“It’s a big statement and brilliant for the event – there are few more iconic figures in golf, he’s adored in Scotland and it sends out a statement that they are very serious about winning the trophy back.

“Maybe we have to have a look and consider other people as well. Whoever it is standing on that stage opposite Tom Watson needs a huge presence.

“We seriously need the right man for the job.

“We do have an (unwritten) rule where we don’t ask anybody to do it again, but we might have to look at that.”

While Clarke, who won the Open Championship last year, says it would be an honour to captain the team himself, he does feel that he has another tournament in him as a player.

“If they asked me to do it it would be a difficult decision to take. I’m still only 44 and it’s not that long ago that I won The Open,” he said.

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