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Clarke to pull out of captaincy race?

Last updated: 11th January 2013

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Darren Clarke: Is his hat still in the ring?

Darren Clarke: Is his hat still in the ring?

Darren Clarke has hinted he could pull out of 2014 Ryder Cup captaincy race, saying "as much as I would dearly love to be captain this may not be my time".

Clarke was at one point considered favourite to skipper Europe at Gleneagles next year, but there have been several indications in recent weeks that they could turn to Colin Montgomerie with Paul McGinley also in the running.

The European Tour's tournament committee is expected to vote in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, but Clarke might not be in the running as he is eager to focus on his own career.

"Whenever I was initially mentioned I wasn't playing very well," the 2011 British Open champion said.

"I played much better at the end of last year and have been thinking long and hard about it all over the Christmas break.

"As much as I would dearly love to be captain this may not be my time.

"I won one of the biggest prizes in golf by winning The Open and I am exempt for another three years (in the States).

"If I was given the opportunity to do the captaincy I'd effectively be throwing two of those years away.

"I'm still wrestling with it. It's a tough one for me, but to be honest with you I want to play golf."

The United States' decision to appoint Tom Watson as their captain has led to speculation that Europe could as Montgomerie to come back for a second stint and committee chairman Thomas Bjorn refused to give too much away recently.

"I don't have a strong view against appointing somebody twice, but there are a lot of other people I think could do a very good job," he said.

When Clarke was asked if taking his hat out of the ring could help him as regards 2016 he said: "That's not up to me. It's down to the committee and we are only talking about this captaincy.

"I think it will be purely Gleneagles and that will be it."



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