Lots to do before Ryder Cup: Clarke

Europe's EurAsia Cup captain Darren Clarke (back row, third from left), with his triumphant team. They thrashed the Asian Tour side 181/2-51/2, and he will want a similarly great performance in the Ryder Cup.
Europe's EurAsia Cup captain Darren Clarke (back row, third from left), with his triumphant team. They thrashed the Asian Tour side 181/2-51/2, and he will want a similarly great performance in the Ryder Cup. PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

KUALA LUMPUR • Victorious Eur- Asia Cup captain Darren Clarke admitted yesterday that he still had much to learn ahead of leading Europe in September's Ryder Cup against the United States.

This, after he led his team to an emphatic 13-point demolition of an Asian Tour team to win the EurAsia Cup in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

His 12-man team were never behind over the three days, leading by three points after Friday's opening fourballs, six points after the second-day foursomes before winning nine of the singles and sharing one in an 181/2-51/2 rout at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club.

It was Clarke's first taste of team leadership victory. The 47-year-old Northern Irishman joins Paul McGinley (Seve Trophy 2009, 2011) and Colin Montgomerie (Seve Trophy 2002, 2003, 2005, Royal Trophy 2010) in having led a team to victory ahead of captaining a European Ryder Cup side.

"There are a lot of things I have learnt this week - time being one of them that I didn't have an awful lot of," he said. "But there are a lot of positives I can take from this week and... hopefully I will do a better job when it comes to September.

"At the end of the day, if your players don't perform, you can be the best captain in the world but you're not going to win. But this week belongs to the players as they have just done fantastic."

Right from the outset, each of Clarke's players have been praiseworthy of his captaincy, including his two picks in Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter.

He indicated earlier in the week the veteran English pair will be a part of his Hazeltine Ryder Cup side, whether competing or as one of five non-playing vice-captains.

"I have enjoyed this week immensely and it's been a wonderful learning experience," said Clarke.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 18, 2016, with the headline 'Lots to do before Ryder Cup: Clarke'. Print Edition | Subscribe