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I want to win Ryder Cup for Darren: Rory

By Adam McKendry

Published 28/09/2016

Pals: Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke
Pals: Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke

Rory McIlroy is determined to help Europe's Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke leave Hazeltine a happy man this weekend after recalling the first time they met.

For his 10th birthday present McIlroy's dad Gerry took him to Royal Portrush Golf Club, where the two Ulstermen first became acquainted.

"My dad took me up there for my birthday," McIlroy said.

"I was chipping around the chipping green and that's where Darren was. I was just in awe of him. He had been on a great run, was like a top-10 player in the world and it was the first time I met him.

"We've known each other ever since. I was part of his Foundation to try and nurture the talent in Ireland and I think it's special for both of us this week, that he is now a Ryder Cup captain and I'm a player under him.

"I've always wanted the win for the captain, but probably even more so this year just because of Darren and the relationship that we have."

Meanwhile, Clarke has praised McIlroy and has emphasised the impact the 27-year old has had on his Ryder Cup squad.

"He's a wonderful young man and an unbelievable golfer, so he's a hugely inspirational figure and I feel very lucky that he's on our side," Clarke said.

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