Montgomerie backs Clarke

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Montgomerie, who guided Europe to victory at Celtic Manor in 2010, was part of a five-man panel that included former captains Paul McGinley and Jose??Olazabal which made a ‘unanimous decision’ in naming Clarke.

The Northern Irishman was always odds-on favourite to replace Paul McGinley and was selected ahead of three-time Ryder Cup vice-captain Miguel Angel Jimenez and Sweden’s Thomas Bjorn.

Clarke made his Ryder Cup debut alongside Montgomerie at Valderamma in 1997 and was selected as one of his vice-captains at Celtic Manor five years ago, with the Scot convinced the 46-year-old can secure a record fourth conseuctive triumph for Europe.

I think he (Clarke) will be a very good communicator, which is most important as captain,??? Montgomerie told Sky Sports. ???He had the respect of the players as a former Open Champion and his Ryder Cup record is very good.

“We had three very able candidates and a unanimous decision,??which was a delight for the panel.

???We have an abundance of good potential captains now and for the future, but on this occasion Clarke was the right man for the job.

???We???ve selected a captain that I???m convinced will retain the Ryder Cup and bring it home. To regain it is one thing but to take it over there and bring it back with us sounds wonderful!???

Clarke made five consecutive Ryder Cup appearances between 1997 and 2006, taking part in four European victories before playing a key role in two further successes as vice-captain in 2010 and 2012.??

Europe have dominated the tournament in recent history with victory in eight of the past ten meetings, but Montgomerie believes Clarke will have a tough challenge in extending that record next September.??

???It???s a uneviable task that faces him,??? Montgomerie added. ???America want it back badly but he???ll have all our support.

“They do want revenge, they set up their task force and had their own internal??wranglings about what they can do to win it back.”

‘A perfect choice’

A former winning European captain in 2002, Ryder Cup veteran Sam Torrance has joined those praising the decision to appoint Clarke.

???He???s virtually the only man for it at this point,??? Torrance told Sky Sports News HQ. ???He???ll have his own style; he???ll do his own thing and have so many ideas.

???He???ll be a positive captain; he???s got good knowledge, respect of all the players and has won in America.

???Darren needs to go away and sit down and think who wants to help him and everything he needs to do begins now.???

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