Feud won’t hit Clarke hopes, insists skipper

Frank Dalleres
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Paul McGinley
VICTORIOUS Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley insists ill-feeling between him and would-be successor Darren Clarke will not affect his input into who should skipper Europe’s title defence in 2016.

McGinley, who masterminded an emphatic defeat of the United States on Sunday at Gleneagles, is part of a five-man panel tasked with choosing his successor for the rematch at Hazeltine.

Clarke is the bookmakers’ favourite to lead Europe, though his case is complicated by a cooling in his relationship with McGinley triggered by the last Ryder Cup captain selection process.

Former Open champion Clarke initially backed him for the role, only to mount a rival challenge and then later support Colin Montgomerie’s claims, yet McGinley says player power will again decide.

“I’m going to be very professional in my input,” said the Irishman, who is joined on the selection committee by fellow former captains Jose Maria Olazabal and Montgomerie, plus European Tour officials.

“I’m going to get opinions from a lot of players and a lot of people before I put my opinion forward. Just like I was very much pushed over the line by the players, I want to get the opinion of the players.

“Darren has been a vice-captain along with many other guys. We will see where that all evolves and I’ll make a professional decision based on the views of people that I respect.”

McGinley, who also won the Ryder Cup three times as a player and twice as a vice-captain, played down talk of taking up an official role in America in two years’ time, but left the door open to an informal role.

“I don’t think I’d be vice-captain to anybody,” he said. “I’m very happy to help in an unofficial capacity but I don’t think I have the personality to go back in as vice-captain.”