Westwood backs Darren Clarke to lead Team Europe at 2014 Ryder Cup

Updated: Oct 10, 2012, 16:28 PM IST

London: English golfer Lee Westwood believes veteran Darren Clarke is the ideal candidate to become Team Europe’s captain at the next edition of the Ryder Cup in 2014 at Gleneagles.

Paul McGinley is still the bookmakers’ favourite to succeed José Maria Olazabal, the Spaniard who presided over the thrilling 14½-13½ win at Medinah 10 days ago, but it is understood Clarke has been approached by influential figures within the European Tour to take on the challenge in Perthshire rather than wait until Minnesota in 2016.

Clarke also has some high-profile supporters among Europe’s star-studded squad, not least Westwood, who last night urged him to be named as Olazábal’s successor.

“If I were asked to pick, it would be Darren Clarke,” the Telegraph quoted Westwood, as saying.

“He has been a Ryder Cup stalwart for many years. The one at the K Club in 2006 will be remembered for him, his great performance under the stress of what he was going through at the time. He is a major champion, tactically he is very astute. I think he has a lot going for him,” he added.