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THE RYDER CUP ANNOUNCEMENT


February 18, 2015


Darren Clarke


Q.テつ Congratulations.テつ Your initial thoughts at the appointment.
DARREN CLARKE:テつ Yeah, obviously delighted.テつ Huge honour.テつ Huge privilege to follow in the steps of so many great European captains.テつ Just hope I can do as good a job as they have all done in the past.テつ Especially of late, Europe have been performing unbelievably well and I hope the team that goes to Hazeltine can do exactly the same again.

Q.テつ There's been a lot of speculation about the captaincy.テつ It must be nice to finally know now and you can get on with your duties as captain.
DARREN CLARKE:テつ Yeah, most definitely, there's been a lot of speculation, as you say, between Miguel, Thomas and myself.テつ It was a very long past 2 1/2 hours waiting for the announcement, and I'm sure the other couple of guys have, as well.
As you said, it's nice now that they have made their decision and fortunate that they have given me the captaincy and I look forward to doing the best I can.

Q.テつ How does this achievement, honour, compare to other things that you've achieved in the game?
DARREN CLARKE:テつ The game has been good to me, very good to me.テつ I've had my ups and I've had my downs.テつ In general it's been very good to me.テつ The Ryder Cup has been a huge part of my life and my golfing career.テつ Lots of them for different reasons.テつ None more so than The K Club, when I had a very emotional one.
But now to be captain of The European Team is a huge honour that ranks up there with anything I've achieved in the professional game.テつ It's right up at the very top.

Q.テつ Every captain is different, as you know.テつ Which qualities do you feel you'll bring to captaincy?
DARREN CLARKE:テつ I guess that's what we'll find out (laughs).テつ We shall see.テつ I will obviously try to pick up as much information as I can from all the previous captains.テつ I think it would be very remiss of me if I didn't do that, to try and pick out the bits that they thought were the best or worked best for the teams, and then at the end of the day, it's not about me.テつ It's about the players.テつ It's about the team, and try and make sure that the team has an enjoyable week, which is quite difficult in a stressful atmosphere as what The Ryder Cup is.テつ But if the guys are relaxed and enjoy themselves, that always helps a little bit more.
Certainly with the teams that I've been involved in, both playing and vice captains, that has been a huge factor.テつ Hopefully if I can maybe bring a little bit of that to it, as well, that would be great.

Q.テつ I think you touched on this in your previous answer, but how do you see the role of the captain?テつ What role does he play?
DARREN CLARKE:テつ The role is to I think make the players as comfortable as I possibly can.テつ As for me, I've got to do the media stuff, speaking to you guys and doing that, which is great.テつ I've got to try and help the guys enjoy it and play the best that particular week that I can, whatever that means that I have to do.

Q.テつ I suspect I know what the answer may be, but what will be one of the first things you go out and do now as captain?
DARREN CLARKE:テつ Maybe have a little celebratory drink.テつ I don't know, it's a long way off.テつ Obviously I've just found out half an hour ago, so we've got a lot of thinking ahead to do with wife and family and Chubby, etc., etc.テつ And I've got a lot of information, and the Tour will obviously tell me what's expected of me and what I need to do.
Being vice captain before, you don't find out all the stuff that obviously the captains have to do.テつ So there will be a lot of explaining things, what's required of me, to find out all those things, and then try and plan our way forward.テつ It's a long way off yet, but having spoken to previous captains being there, time comes around very quickly.テつ I will find out what I have to do and make plans accordingly.

Q.テつ How many vice captains do you envisage having in play?
DARREN CLARKE:テつ I would imagine ‑‑ I don't know.テつ That's going to be up to the committee but I wouldn't see anything changing from the winning formula we've had of recent Ryder Cups.

Q.テつ What do you think the challenge will be in terms of going to the States rather than hosting a Ryder Cup?テつ Because I imagine they are two totally different beasts.
DARREN CLARKE:テつ Two totally different, and I've been fortunate enough to play both home and away.テつ They are different events.テつ Home soil match, the supporters are partisan.テつ That's what you expect.テつ They need to get behind the home team.テつ That's all part and parcel of The Ryder Cup.
And even more so in recent years, the noise has been getting bigger and bigger and bigger.テつ That's great.テつ Most of our Ryder Cup perspective team, and indeed the one that's just played in the last Ryder Cup, live and play in America, as well.
So the fans are maybe a little bit more used to them over there, but the fan atmosphere is the big different thing.テつ It's still 12 guys against 12 guys playing match play; anybody can win. That's just the format of professional golf, but home advantage is definitely something which is taken into consideration.

Q.テつ It's grown into a fantastically huge event and we watch it in South Africa; what do you think it is that makes The Ryder Cup so special to viewers worldwide?
DARREN CLARKE:テつ I think it's the tradition, the history behind it.テつ I think it's the format, match play, anybody can beat anybody in match play.テつ That's the way it is.テつ We've seen that in many Ryder Cups.テつ World Rankings don't count for an awful lot when it comes to a Ryder Cup.テつ The pressure‑‑ live TV or live participation for people watching or people there, and the atmosphere that that creates, anything can happen at any stage and I think that's what brings the audience to it.

Q.テつ Are you ready for your life to change quite a bit and are you excited at the prospect ahead?
DARREN CLARKE:テつ Of course I'm excited.テつ I would be crazy not to be.テつ I'm really excited.テつ I'm very proud and I'm very humbled to be chosen to as Ryder Cup Captain, and I'll endeavour to do the best I possibly can for the benefit of The European Team.

Q.テつ Your players have come out in support of you as captain, just your thoughts on that and how important is it to know that you've got the support of key players?
DARREN CLARKE:テつ Hugely important.テつ The guys, a lot of people all come out in support of me, which again is very flattering.テつ Most of the guys have been on the previous team, they are nearly all good friends anyway.
So they have known me and I've played with them for many years on Tour‑‑ maybe Rory not so many years on Tour, he's not out there that long but I've known him for a long time.テつ I know all the guys really well.テつ I'd like to consider them all friends of mine and so that makes things a little bit easier.テつ But certainly to have them coming out and supporting me was very special.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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