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Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke: We can silence USA big guns

By Ali Gordon

Darren Clarke is confident that his European Ryder Cup team can beat the Americans despite Team USA boasting five of the world's top-10 golfers.

Davis Love III's side is widely regarded as the best chance Team USA has had of winning since their last triumph in 2008.

"A lot's made about how strong the Americans are - we are not doing too badly ourselves," said European captain Clarke in an interview with Mail On Sunday.

"Don't forget we have got Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia. We have got Danny Willett playing some of the best golf in the world at the moment."

Read more: Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke says sorry to Paul McGinley after five year feud

After a hat-trick of defeats, the Americans introduced a 'taskforce' to ensure the 2016 tournament at Hazeltine, Minnesota, but Clarke isn't worried.

The Dungannon-born golfer said: "I think it's (the taskforce) the highest compliment they can pay the European Tour. If they think they need to do all this kind of stuff to find a winning formula and they care about the Ryder Cup that much, it's a great compliment.

"We have that spirit - we don't need to do anything. We won't lose that under my captaincy, under the next captain or the next captain.

"That European team spirit can't be trained. It is not false, it's what we have, it's what we do, it's what we are. It's bred into us in the European Tour."

Clarke admits that he doesn't underestimate the American team though, which includes world number one Jordan Spieth, Bubba Watson and Rickie Fowler.

Read more: Clarke has no fear of USA's Ryder Cup stars

"Hazeltine is a tough assignment, unquestionably, but it's a great assignment," said the 2011 The Open champion.

"It's a huge honour for me. I am fortunate that any time I have played over here, the fans and the crowds have always been very good to me. I know what to expect.

"They do have a number of young guys coming through in strong form but we are a long way away from September."

He added: "Fear of failure has been my biggest driving force since I started playing the game. That goes right back to my days as an amateur."

Clarke has used a number of famous quotes to inspire him throughout his career and for many years he kept a copy of Theodore Roosevelt's 'The Man in the Arena' speech in his wallet.

One of his favourites is an unattributed quote, 'I do it because I can, I can because I want to. I want to because you said I couldn't.'

He added: "If I don't prepare properly, failure is inevitable."

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