French Ryder Cup venue is ideal says Darren Clarke
Europe Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke is convinced Le Golf National outside Paris will prove to be a perfect venue for the 2018 Ryder Cup with the European team at a distinct advantage.
Paris: Europe Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke is convinced Le Golf National outside Paris will prove to be a perfect venue for the 2018 Ryder Cup with the European team at a distinct advantage.
Clarke is in a strong field at the course this week for the French Open with a dual role of recovering his form and running an eye over potential players for next year`s Ryder Cup contest in Hazeltine, Minneapolis.
Having played several times at the layout, the home course of the French Golf Federation, the Northern Irishman likes what he sees.
"This is going to be a sensational Ryder Cup (in 2018) with the golf course the way it is, the way it was constructed as a stadium golf course," he said.
"The viewing is going to be incredible. The excitement is going to be incredible with the holes and so much water involved.
"I think because we played here for so long, I think the Europeans will have hopefully a little bit of advantage because they know the golf course."
Clarke was named Europe skipper in February having played in five Ryder Cups and been vice-captain in 2010 and 2012.
He has had little to do so far in terms of preparation but says that this will start to change in September when the points race to get into the team starts in earnest at the Russian Open.
"There`s not an awful lot I can do," he said.
"There`s things going on behind the scenes that I have to make some decisions on but in terms of the players and stuff, I can`t do anything full-stop and there`s no real point in paying too close of attention just yet."
The Ryder Cup was also on the mind of Clarke`s fellow Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell, who will be aiming to win a third straight French Open title this week.
The 2010 US Open champion has been a stalwart of European Ryder Cup teams since 2008 including supplying the winning point in Wales in 2010.
At close on 36 he will be hopeful of making it five in a row at Hazeltine next year, but admits that 2018 might be a stretch for him.
"I figure in 2018, I`ll be 39. I`ll be pushing 40, so at least I`ll perhaps be a good call for an invite for a wild?card pick for 2018 if you don`t make the team off my own merit, being a little bit of a course specialist around here, certainly will be expecting to be part of things," he said.