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Clarke prepared to ride his luck as rookie skipper

The decision was unanimous

Darren Clarke admits that his lack of experience as a skipper will leave him heading into the unknown at Hazeltine in 19 months’ time.

Paul McGinley had two successful Seve Trophy captaincies under his belt before leading the troops to an eighth win in 10 matches at Gleneagles last September.

And Clarke could only hold his hands up and hope that he is as successful as the last two men to lead Europe without having pulled on the captain’s armband at any level
– Bernhard Langer and Ian Woosnam.

“They both did okay, didn’t they,” Clarke said, recalling those record, nine-point wins at Oakland Hills in 2004 and The K Club in 2006.

If Clarke’s close pal Davis Love III is, as expected, handed a second bite of the cherry next Tuesday and the chance to avenge the Miracle at Medinah, the 46-year old Dungannon man will be facing not just a hostile American crowd that’s desperate for its first success since 2008, but also a friend who will have learnt much from the mistakes of 2012.

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