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Clarke’s Ryder Cup captaincy makes Westwood a Euro certainty

| 18.02.2015

Darren Clarke will lead Europe’s chase for a fourth consecutive Ryder Cup in 2016, after the hugely popular Northern Irish golfer was awarded the team captaincy.

The Ulsterman saw off the challenge of Miguel-Angel Jiminez for the trip to Hazeltine Golf Club in Minnesota next September.

Having garnered overwhelming support from members of the victorious 2014 team that triumphed at Gleneagles, Clarke has Ryder Cup experience coming out of his ears.

Twice a vice-captain, firstly in 2010 when Europe began their winning streak at Celtic Manor and latterly under Jose Maria Olazabal for the ‘miracle’ at Medinah, his pedigree as a player in the biannual dust-up only adds more attraction to Europe’s 10/11 odds for victory on US soil again.

A veteran of five separate Ryder Cups with clubs in hand, spanning a decade, the 46-year-old has clocked up a winning average of nigh on 60 per cent over 20 separate games.

Phil Mickelson was his most notable singles victim on debut in 1997, while alongside his great friend Lee Westwood, the British duo have famously sunk Tiger Woods on three occasions.

Westwood remains Clarke’s greatest ally in the sport and for this reason the Worksop native’s price of 8/13 to make the next European team, is justifiably one of the best odds-on bets out there at present.

This is especially true as Westwood continues to perform at the highest level on the European Tour, meaning he may not even need the insurance policy of his old buddy’s captaincy to earn his ticket to Hazeltine.

Meanwhile, the USA will not announce their pick officially until the 24th February, but many sources report losing Medinah skipper Davis Love III will get his shot at redemption in Minnesota for the 11/10 USA team.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.