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Clarke: Watson appointment a shock

Last updated: 21st December 2012

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Darren Clarke: Wants the right man.

Darren Clarke: Wants the right man.

Darren Clarke admits he was shocked by the United States' decision to appoint Tom Watson as their Ryder Cup captain.

The 63-year-old Watson will lead America at the 2014 tournament at Gleneagles in Scotland - 21 years after he led the team to victory at The Belfry.

Europe, the defending champions following their stunning comeback at Medinah earlier this year, are expected to name their captain in Abu Dhabi next month and Clarke and Paul McGinley are reportedly favourites to take over from Jose Maria Olazabal.

Clarke, though, has warned that Watson's appointment means it is no longer a straightforward decision.

"I think it could well affect who is appointed," he said.

"A lot of people, myself included, were surprised when Tom Watson was appointed.

"It's a big statement and brilliant for the event - there are few more iconic figures in golf, he's adored in Scotland and it sends out a statement that they are very serious about winning the trophy back.

"Maybe we have to have a look and consider other people as well. Whoever it is standing on that stage opposite Tom Watson needs a huge presence.

"We seriously need the right man for the job.

"We do have an (unwritten) rule where we don't ask anybody to do it again, but we might have to look at that."

Should the Europe decide to bring 2010 captain Colin Montgomerie into the equation then it might free Clarke up to play in the Ryder Cup again.

"If they asked me to do it [captain Europe] it would be a difficult decision to take. I'm still only 44 and it's not that long ago that I won The Open [at Sandwich in 2011]," he said.



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