Ryder Cup captains to avoid Solheim Cup controversy

Darren Clarke and Davis Love 'to enjoy cigar and a tear' after Hazletine clash

Andy Roberts's picture
Wed, 30 Sep 2015

Ryder Cup captains Darren Clarke and Davis Love have vowed to avoid a repeat of this year’s controversial Solheim Cup when Europe and United States lock horns at Hazeltine in 2016.

The final day of the ladies biennial clash earlier this month was marred by an altercation on the 17th green when American rookie Alison Lee thought her two-foot putt had been conceded, only for European opponent Suzann Pettersen to object and claim the hole.

Headlines were dominated by the Pettersen-Lee row rather than the tremendous fightback from the Americans who overturned a four-point deficit heading into the singles into a one-point win.

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“This Ryder Cup will be played in the manner that Davis and I respect each other,” said Europe's Clarke.

“I hold Davis in the highest regard. He is a good friend and is probably the best gentleman in our sport.

“The Solheim Cup was an unfortunate thing. What Suzann did was correct in the rules of golf, but in the spirit of the game, was wrong. She admitted that on Monday, with hindsight. Hindsight always is a wonderful thing.”

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Love added: “I’m sure Darren and I will set the tone with our teams and with our messaging over the next year as to what we expect and how we expect the matches to be played.

“Something will come up during the three days that is uncomfortable. But we’ll handle it as gentlemen and a sportsmanlike way. It will be fair and competitive and fun.

“In the end, one of us will win, one of us will lose, but we’ll enjoy a cigar and a tear afterwards on Sunday night.”

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As for Europe’s bid to land a fourth consecutive Ryder Cup and seventh in the last eight matches, Clarke expects no easy task given 14 of the current top 25 players in the world are from the United States.

“America is probably going to have a very different looking team; a much stronger, younger looking team,” Clarke told BBC Sport. 

“There is going to be a changing of the guard if you would. You are going to have a lot of fresh blood in there looking to win the trophy back.”

Clarke says there would be added gloss to the Ryder Cup if Tiger Woods was to make Love's 12-man team. 

“Do I think it would be better with Tiger Woods there? Yes I do,” he added.

“Tiger was the best in the world and he is still an unbelievably good player. He has had a difficult time of late but he has shown some form again of late.

“As a friend, I hope to see him get back playing the type of golf we all know he can. I think if he made the Ryder Cup, it would make it even more special.”

How do you see the Ryder Cup teams shaping up? Will Tiger Woods make the 2016 side or is he now a spent force? Share your thoughts in the forum, on Twitter, on Facebook or visit us on YouTube.



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