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Westwood supports Clarke for Ryder captaincy

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Paul McGinley and Darren Clarke, two of the leading contenders to captain the 2014 European Ryder Cup team, are already growing weary of the discussion.

No worries.

The players whom they would be leading are vouching for them instead.

“There are a lot of good candidates,” Lee Westwood told Sky Sports, “but if I was asked to pick I would pick Darren (Clarke).”

McGinley, who has served as a vice captain for the past two Ryder Cups, is the bookmakers’ favorite to land the gig at Gleneagles. One recent report even suggested that the Europeans would be wise to hold off on naming Clarke a captain until 2016, because he has a stronger appeal in the United States.

Asked why he thinks his close friend Clarke, the 2011 British Open winner, would make an ideal captain in two years, Westwood said, according to the report, “He’s a major champion, and he’s a very good public speaker, which I think has to be taken into account, tactically very astute. I think Darren has a lot of good things going for him.

“Paul (McGinley) is good in the team room and makes a great vice captain. He's done a good job with the Vivendi (Seve) Trophy (twice a winning captain). Paul has played three (Ryder Cups), Darren has played five and got a major championship and won a lot more tournaments than Paul. You have to have a criteria somewhere, and I think Darren just edges it for me.”