DARREN Clarke’s bid to be the next Ryder Cup captain received a huge boost on Tuesday from close friend and former European number one Lee Westwood.
Clarke and Paul McGinley, both vice-captains at Medinah, are in the running to fill the role at Gleneagles in 2014.
“There are a lot of good candidates but if I was asked to pick I would pick Darren,” Westwood said.
“He’s been a Ryder Cup stalwart for many years.
“The one at the K Club (in 2006) will be remembered for him and his great performance under the stress of what he was going through at the time (his wife Heather had recently died).
“He’s a major champion, he’s a very good public speaker which I think has to be taken into account, tactically very astute. I think Darren has a lot of good things going for him.”
Clarke claimed last week that if asked, he would not turn down the opportunity.
“I still dearly want to make the team, and even more so after being present in Medinah as part of Ollie’s support staff so I would love to play in another Ryder Cup. But unfortunately the way things have been going with my game of late that’s not been happening,” he said.
“However if it means going to Gleneagles as the captain of the team and not a member of the team, then I would accept that as a huge honour.”
The European Tour’s tournament committee chaired by Dane Thomas Bjorn, another of the vice-captains in Chicago and a possible captain himself, will be expected to make a decision in January.