Torrance supports canny Clarke’s Ryder Cup captaincy claims

FORMER Ryder Cup winning captain Sam Torrance has backed Darren Clarke’s claims to lead Europe in 2014, even though he feels the Northern Irishman would be a more suitable captain if the tournament were scheduled to be played in America.

In addition to Thomas Bjorn, Torrance believes both Clarke and Paul McGinley are strong candidates for the role and highlights the former vice-captain’s exceptional Ryder Cup experience as a particular strength he would bring to the role.

“Any Ryder Cup captain needs the respect of the players and real knowledge,” said City A.M. columnist Torrance, who captained Europe to victory in 2002.

“Clarke’s an excellent candidate. He’s played in a few Ryder Cups, has been on the winning team and he’s won The Open.

“I learned more from doing the vice-captaincy then I did as a player, to be honest. That was from seeing how much is done behind the scenes for the players, and seeing the power that the captain has.

“There are a few candidates. McGinley’s been tipped, he’s got the credentials as well, Thomas Bjorn – these are all candidates for the captaincy.

“I actually think Darren would be a better captain if the tournament was going to be in America.

“He won the world matchplay beating Woods in the final, he’s a Major winner, and he would get more respect from the American crowds for that.”