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Darren Clarke acknowledges the value of Rory McIlroy to Europe's Ryder Cup bid

Captain Darren Clarke is looking for some inspiration from compatriot Rory McIlroy as Europe go in search of an unprecedented fourth successive Ryder Cup victory.

The world number three capped an impressive month with his second win in three weeks at the PGA Tour season-ending Tour Championship on Sunday, pocketing an additional £8.8million for winning the FedEx Cup.

It was a timely boost for the European team, many of whom watched the gripping play-off finale together in their Heathrow hotel hours before flying out to the United States.

"He's a wonderful young man and an unbelievable golfer, so he's a hugely inspirational figure for our team and I feel very lucky that he's on our European side," said fellow Northern Irishman Clarke on his arrival at Hazeltine National Golf Club.

"To see Rory showing that fighting spirit and battling the way in which he did was wonderful.

"With the guys that were travelling on the plane we were all there with all our caddies down in the bar in the hotel watching it on the big screen.

"Obviously everybody was delighted and excited. Any time we see one of our members play well and win a tournament is obviously very good.

"I'm very pleased with our team. We've got a wonderful mix of experience with all the rookies (six in total) in there.

"But certainly from a European perspective it's always good to have one of our members win the week before the Ryder Cup.

"That was, obviously, a very enjoyable thing for all of us to watch."


From Belfast Telegraph