Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Golf Ryder Cup

Ryder Cup: I would do same again vows Europe captain Darren Clarke

Europe captain has no regrets

By Graham Luney

Darren Clarke said he had no regrets despite watching the United States grasp the Ryder Cup for the first time since 2008.

Clarke's European side suffered a 17-11 defeat following the singles matches with Rory McIlroy losing out to Patrick Reed in an epic tussle.

After watching Ryan Moore beat Lee Westwood on the 18th green for the decisive point, European skipper Clarke said he would not have done anything differently. Asked if he would change any of his decisions this week, the Ulsterman said: "No. I really wouldn't.

"I have spoken about this already to my vice-captains and we were confident. Hindsight is a wonderful thing but even with that we wouldn't have made any changes.

"We've made all our decisions together. I think this week the Americans have putted that much better and that makes all the difference between winning and losing."

Clarke’s selection of Thomas Pieters proved an inspired choice, but his other wildcards — Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer — produced just one point from seven matches and the decision to split the successful pairing of Sergio Garcia and Rafael Cabrera Bello on Saturday proved ill-fated.

Clarke added: “This doesn’t happen overnight, 18 months of planning goes into it. Congratulations to Davis (Love) and we’ll try to win it back on our own patch in two years’ time. Davis’ team gave everything and that’s the passion of the Ryder Cup.”

Rookie Pieters, after winning all three of his matches with McIlroy, secured his fourth point of a sensational debut with a 3&2 win over JB Holmes.

He said: “It’s different when you’re out there on your own. You don’t have anyone to high five or pick you up when you’re down. I made plenty of birdies and that’s what you need in matchplay. I knew that Darren believed in me, that gave me a lot of confidence.”

Triumphant United States captain Davis Love said: “There was a shift in attitude, it is our team now and not their team. We kept losing over and over, it’s a breath of fresh air and a new attitude.

“We came here ready to go. It started in March with Jack Nicklaus telling us to be prepared and throughout with Tiger Woods telling us the strategy. It was a new system and the picks were confusing, but everything else we were prepared for.

“It was a new chapter over the last two years and I think the biggest thing is not really the win, but that we are all pulling in the same direction together. We are going in a great direction, the veteran players have showed them what we want them to do for the next 20 years.”

After overcoming McIlroy on the 18th hole, a jubilant Reed said: “It was hard. It is any time playing a guy like Rory, especially when he was playing so solid this week. I knew it was going to be tough, that I had to play the way I did yesterday afternoon.”

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph