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Rory wants Clarke as captain in 2016

ESPN staff
October 1, 2012 « Nadal: 'Fantastic' Murray has got it all | Chartbeat test »
The European team pose with the Ryder Cup © Getty Images
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Rory McIlroy believes Darren Clarke should be awarded the honour of captaining Europe in the Ryder Cup in four years' time - paving the way for Paul McGinley to lead the home team at Gleneagles in 2014.

McIlroy, while adamant that whoever is chosen to succeed Jose Maria Olazabal "will be a great captain", believes 2011 Open champion Clarke has the perfect character to lead the side in the United States.

With the Northern Irishman believed to be competing with McGinley - who sank the winning putt at The Belfry in 2002 - to follow in Olazabal's footsteps, McIlroy would like it if Clarke waited for another two years for his turn.

"I've always said I think Clarkey would be a great captain here in America," McIlroy said. "I think the crowds really love him, so maybe save Darren for 2016."

Olazabal's vice-captains at Medinah, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Thomas Bjorn, may also be candidates for the job in Scotland - while major champion Sandy Lyle has been overlooked for the honour for a number of years.

On the various potential candidates, McIlroy said: "They are all different and all have their own opinions, but collectively they are very knowledgeable."

McIlroy had his dramas on Sunday, nearly missing his tee-time after confusion over the start time. Fortunately, a police escort enabled him to get to Medinah in time to go on and beat Keegan Bradley at the 17th.

"In a way it wasn't a bad thing because I didn't have time to think about it, and I just went out and played, and I played probably the best I've played all week," he reflected. "I still would have liked to have gotten here sooner, but I delivered my point for the team, and that was the most important thing."

He added: "I looked at the tee times last night, and I must have saw them in eastern time and I thought it was 12:25 instead of 11:25. Walking out my hotel room door this morning at 11:00, and I get a phone call saying, 'You're on the tee in 25 minutes.' I'm like, oh ... I've never been so worried going to the golf course.

"Luckily there was a state trooper at the bottom outside the lobby of the hotel that took me here and got me here a lot faster than we would have normally. I had just enough time to put my shoes on, have a couple of putts and go to the first tee.

"I was like, 'Just get me there, get me there.' He was like, 'Do you have motion sickness?' I'm like, 'No, I don't care, just get me to that first tee!'"

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