Darren Clarke wishes Ryder Cup defense started nowMarch 23, 2015 Golf News
The European Captain will have to wait 554 days to defend the trophy
European Ryder Cup Captain Darren Clarke revealed he was still on cloud nine a month after after receiving what he described as the “highest honour” from The European Tour.
“The highest honour the European Tour can bestow on any of its members is The Ryder Cup captaincy,” Clarke said.
“So imagine my sense of joy, pride and in some ways relief when the call came through from Ryder Cup Director Richard Hills inviting me to lead Europe into the 2016 match against the USA.
“The more I played in The Ryder Cup, the more I wanted to become captain and, to be honest, if I could have chosen where and when, then it would have been in America and now.
I have thoroughly enjoyed playing there and I have always felt very welcome, so I am particularly delighted that everything I wanted has come to fruition.”
If I could have chosen where and when, then it would have been in America and now. The Northern Irishman departs in 554 day’s time to mastermind the trophy defence against the United States at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota.
Clarke took time out to pose for his first official pictures with the newly reconstituted Ryder Cup Trophy, which has had an additional golden band added just above its base since Europe’s triumph at Gleneagles last September, to accommodate the results of the matches going forward.
And the 2011 Open Champion is determined to see his side embossed in the gold come October 2, 2016.
“Europe has a chance to make history by winning the Ryder Cup for the fourth time in succession and I am absolutely thrilled to have that opportunity,” said Clarke.
“But, whatever happens, I will also do everything in my power to ensure the good name of the game and the true spirit of this incredible match is carried forward.
Despite the sportsmanship, the 46-year old will be looking to disappoint his long time friend and American captain Davis Love III.
“What made this honour even more amazing is that Davis Love III has been elected American captain.
“We have been very good friends ever since I first started playing in America and I have the upmost respect for him as both a player and a person.
“It won’t stop me doing everything I possibly can to ensure the European team beats his, but whatever the result we will remain friends first and foremost.”