McIlroy backs Clarke

Rory McIlroy is backing Darren Clarke to be Europe’s next Ryder Cup captain.

The Northern Irishman believes is fellow countryman would do a fine job of captaining Europe at Hazeltine in 2016.

“Obviously there have been a few names thrown about there, but I have said with a Ryder Cup being in America, I feel that Darren Clarke would be the perfect man to lead the team there, just because he has such a great reputation in the States,” the four time Major winner told Sky Sports, adding that he would love to do the job one day too.

“The fans really love him there and he has got a good rapport with everyone. I think he would be the right man to do it next time at Hazeltine.

“One day when the time is right I would love to be able to captain the European team and try and lead them to victory and if I do I will take a lot out of the way Paul captained the team last week. I know Paul took a lot out of the way Bernhard Langer captained the team in 2004 and he always had a lot of admiration for the way he did it.

“Yes, one day. It might be 20-25 years away from now but it would be great to do. It would be a great honour.

Meanwhile, the 25-year-old is preparing for this weekends’ Alfred Dunhill Links Championship which is being played on the Old Course at the home of golf in St Andrews.

“It’s a tournament that I have played well at but never been able to win,” added McIlroy.

“I finished third in 2007, second in 2009 and second again in 2011. I’ve been close so it would be nice to win, especially as it’s my dad’s 55th birthday on Sunday.

“If we can make the cut in the team event and be able to walk around St Andrews on his birthday and me have a chance to win the tournament as well, it would be very special.”