• Ryder Cup

Clarke: Monty could lead Europe

ESPN staff
December 22, 2012
Darren Clarke chats with Jose Maria Olazabal and could take on his mantle as Ryder Cup captain © PA Photos

Darren Clarke believes a captain with a 'huge presence' is required to lead Europe's Ryder Cup team at Gleneagles in 2014, hinting that Colin Montgomerie should be considered.

Clarke is one of the front-runners for the captaincy himself and his opinions on who should face up to America's captain Tom Watson fly in the face of Montgomerie's own views.

The Scotsman, and captain of the victorious Europe team at Celtic Manor in 2010, believes their opponents' surprising choice of Watson should not influence Europe's decision. Clarke takes the opposite view as Watson's popularity north of the border is great, having won four of his five Open Championships in Scotland.

But on home turf, Montgomerie would attract waves of support himself and Clarke admitted the fashion of not re-selecting a captain for the second time may have to be overlooked.

"I think it [Watson being captain] could well affect who is appointed," Clarke told the Daily Telegraph.

"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 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."

Montgomerie is keen on Clarke or Paul McGinley to take on the role but the prospect of leading his continent against America leaves Clarke undecided given his ambition to make the playing team.

"If they asked me to do it in Gleneagles it would be a difficult decision to take," Clarke added. "I'm still only 44 and it's not that long ago that I won the Open [in 2011]."

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