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Clarke: Tough to say 'no' to being Ryder Cup captain

Darren Clarke
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AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 06: Oliver Wilson of England watches a tee shot during a practice round prior to the 2009 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 6, 2009 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)  - 

Add Darren Clarke to the list of possible European Ryder Cup captains for 2014.

Clarke, who has been appointed as one of four vice captains for this year’s event at Medinah, confirmed his interest in the position when asked Wednesday at Gleneagles.

“Is my hat in now? I think it’s a case of if the Ryder Cup committee were to ask me to be captain then I think it would be disrespectful to say ‘no,’ wherever they asked me,” Clarke said, according to the Irish Times. “My hat has never been out of it. I still hope to play a little bit more yet, but if I was asked it would be a very tough position to say ‘no.’”

Perhaps not coincidentally, Clarke was speaking Wednesday before the pro-am at the Johnnie Walker Championship, an event the 2011 British Open champion hasn’t played since 2008. But the tournament is held on the PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles, which happens to host the Ryder Cup in 2014. Consider it a bit of early politicking.

It’s shaping up to be an interesting race, with Clarke joining fellow countryman Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn and 2010 captain Colin Montgomerie as likely candidates to assume the position in 2014 at Gleneagles. A decision, the report said, could be made as soon as January.