Darren Clarke will put his captaincy skills to the test in this weekend’s EurAsia Cup before he tries to lead Europe to an eighth Ryder Cup victory in the last 10 contests in October.
Clarke insists the clash with the United States at Hazeltine will be at the back of his mind when his side take on Asia in Kuala Lumpur, although the parallels between the two events are hard to escape.
Ryder Cup talisman Ian Poulter, one of Clarke’s two wild cards, will partner Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger in Friday’s opening fourball match against Anirban Lahiri and Korea’s Jeunghun Wang.
And Clarke’s other wild card and nine-time Ryder Cup player Lee Westwood has been entrusted with the anchor role, partnering fellow Englishman Chris Wood against Kiradech Aphibarnrat and SSP Chawrasia.
“Obviously there’s Ryder Cup stuff going on in the back of my mind with possible pairings, but first and foremost, it’s about the EurAsia Cup this week,” Clarke said.
“We’re here to try and win, as Jeev (Milkha Singh, Asia’s captain) is with his team.
“The thoughts and everything I’m trying to do is going towards this week.
“When we’re finished this week, if we come back with a few pairings and hopefully if I’ve learned something from this week come September, then so be it.
“First and foremost, it’s definitely this week and the EurAsia Cup.”