‘A won­der­ful week for Europe’

Dar­ren Clarke thrilled to see po­ten­tial Ry­der Cup stars ex­cel at Au­gusta

7 Days in Dubai - - SPORT -

R yder Cup cap­tain Dar­ren Clarke has hailed the “won­der­ful” per­for­mance of Europe’s top play­ers at the Masters.

With cham­pion Danny Wil­lett one of seven Euro­peans in the top 15 at Au­gusta, Clarke said the fi­nal leader­board had de­liv­ered a real pos­i­tive ahead of the muchan­tic­i­pated show­down with the USA in Septem­ber.

“It was a won­der­ful week from a Euro­pean per­spec­tive,” Clarke said of the Masters.

“With the win­ner Danny Wil­lett and in­deed Lee West­wood play­ing a lot bet­ter and Justin Rose and Matt Fitz­patrick, there were so many Euro­peans up there in the top 10.

“So it was a very pos­i­tive week for the Euro­peans.

“It was won­der­ful to see - I just hope they are all in the same form when it comes to Septem­ber at Hazel­tine.”

Wil­lett’s vic­tory was the first ma­jor of the York­shire­man’s ca­reer, but Clarke was not sur­prised to see him tri­umph at Au­gusta.

“He’s been play­ing re­ally well now for a cou­ple of years, I am a good friend of his, I’ve spent a lot of time with him and his game has just been get­ting bet­ter and bet­ter,” said Clarke. “It’s cer­tainly no sur­prise what­so­ever. He’s per­formed re­ally well, es­pe­cially of late again, and from a per­sonal point of view I was de­lighted to see him win.” The 47-year-old was also thrilled to see his close friend West­wood - who fin­ished joint sec­ond at the Masters - con­tend­ing in a ma­jor once again. “To see him play­ing in the man­ner and fash­ion that I know he can is cer­tainly very, very heart­en­ing,” he said. With so many up and com­ing stars emerg­ing, Europe’s team is pre­dicted to have quite a few fresh faces as they look to secure a fourth suc­ces­sive Ry­der Cup vic­tory.

How­ever, Clarke in­sisted there was a long way to go in qual­i­fy­ing.

“It’s a long way off be­fore the team is fi­nalised, a lot of big tour­na­ments, a lot of Ry­der Cup points to be played for,” added Clarke.

“While the make-up of the team at the moment may look slightly dif­fer­ent to what we are used to, come the end of Au­gust I think it might be a lit­tle bit dif­fer­ent.

“But even as a cap­tain I’m ex­cited like every­one else to see who is go­ing to make the team and who is go­ing to miss out.”

The 2016 Ry­der Cup is be­ing held at Hazel­tine in Amer­ica and takes place from Septem­ber 30 to Oc­to­ber 2.

TAL­ENTED TRIO: Lee West­wood, Danny Wil­lett and Matt Fitz­patrick in ac­tion at the EurAsia Cup ear­lier this year

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UAE

© PressReader. All rights reserved.