Lee Westwood exclusive: Darren Clarke should be Ryder Cup 2016 captain

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Lee Westwood has led a rallying cry for Darren Clarke to be appointed the European team captain for the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Club.

The 41-year old publicly declared his support for the Northern Irishman, claiming he is the man to bring the same success as this years captain, Paul McGinley.

Westwood exclusively told GiveMeSport: "Darren would bring everything Paul did this time - attention to detail, passion, commitment and courage.

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Ryder Cup credentials

Clarke has experience of a behind-the-scenes role at the Ryder Cup, having been appointed as one of Colin Montgomerie's vice-captains in the success in 2010, so is well-prepared to take on the lead captaincy if called upon.

As well as this, the 46-year-old competed in five successive Ryder Cup's between 1997 and 2006 - winning four of them, so he has all the credentials and a winning mentality to be able to take the Europeans to their fourth win in a row.

Clarke played a huge part in one of the most memorable tournaments of recent times, the 2006 Ryder Cup victory, just six weeks after the death of wife, Heather. Clarke was picked as one of Ian Woosnam's wild cards and justified selection, winning three points from three matches to help team Europe win, before being at the centre of an emotional embrace involving both sides.

Magnificent McGinley

And Westwood reiterated his praise for McGinley, who bravely picked Westwood ahead of fellow Englishman, Luke Donald.

The Worksop man said: "It took a big call to pick me ahead of Luke Donald and hopefully I vindicated the selection."

He certainly did just that, winning two points to take his overall Ryder Cup points tally to 23 and becoming the fifth highest points scorer in history, just two behind Nick Faldo.

Justified selection

Donald may have felt slightly aggrieved to not have been chosen however, as he is currently placed 12 higher than Westwood in the current golf world rankings. 

But the seven-time Ryder Cup winner earned his call-up with an impressive performance at the Bridgestone Invitational just a month prior to the tournament.

"D will not be afraid of making those big decisions," he added.

The captaincy will be announced over the coming months, giving the chosen man around 18 months to analyse all his playing options before making a final selection.

Lee Westwood
PGA Championships
Ryder Cup
PGA Tour

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