European Tour

Clarke still aiming to compete

2015-02-23 13:34
Darren Clarke (AFP)

Cape Town - Darren Clarke, who has missed the cut in five of his last seven European Tour outings, is hoping last week's decision to install him as Europe's 2016 Ryder Cup captain can have a galvanising effect on his performances.

The Northern Irishman is without a title since his memorable 2011 British Open victory at Sandwich, the only major championship win of his career, and he has plunged to 470th in the world rankings.

"Obviously my own competitive instincts haven't been too good of late," Clarke told www.europeantour.com on Monday.

"The captaincy might actually be a blessing in disguise in terms of my golf because it will take my mind away from practising too hard and I'll have a lot of things to focus on. Hopefully it will help me play a little bit better."

Clarke accepts, however, that the demands of the Ryder Cup role are bound to affect him on the fairways as the biennial team event draws closer.

"This year I don't think the captaincy will make an awful lot of difference but I would imagine next year it would make a big difference in my playing schedule," he said.

Clarke has won 14 times on the tour and will have a chance to make it 15 when he competes in this week's Joburg Open in South Africa.

The 46-year-old was named Ryder Cup captain last Wednesday after winning the unanimous vote of a five-man selection panel that included the last three skippers, Paul McGinley, Jose Maria Olazabal and Colin Montgomerie.

Clarke looks likely to be up against Davis Love III when Europe chase a record fourth successive victory against United States in Hazeltine, Minnesota next year.

Love is expected to be announced as American captain on Tuesday.

Read more on:    ryder cup  |  darren clarke  |  golf
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