Rory: Make Clarke Euro skipper

Clarke is expected to get the role although Thomas Bjorn, Miguel Angel Jimenez and ex-skipper Colin Montgomerie are also thought to be in the frame to lead the team at Hazeltine in 2016.

Speaking ahead of the Dubai Desert Classic, the world No 1 said: “I’m going to be a little biased. Darren is a good friend of mine and from Northern Ireland, so it would be great to see him get the captaincy.

???But if it was to be Miguel, then I’d have no problems with that either. They are going to have a tough decision.

“I always thought Darren would be a perfect fit for the captaincy in the States. People love him over there and he’ll do well but people love Miguel anywhere he goes and the more he plays on the Champions Tour, he’s going to become more popular as well.

“They are both quality candidates and great players. As long as I’m on the team and they decide to play me, I’m happy enough.”

The decision, which is expected to be made in the next few weeks, will be taken by a committee consisting of former Ryder Cup captains Paul McGinley, Jose Maria Olazabal and Montgomerie, along with European Tour chief executive George O’Grady and tournament committee nominee David Howell.

And World No 2 Henrik Stenson also predicted a battle between two golfers, adding: “Well, I think most likely we’re going to see a race between Darren and??Miguel.

“I mean, that’s the beauty of being a part of the tournament committee that no longer votes for it. I don’t have to put any thought into it. I just have to wait like everybody else until the result comes out.

“I think we’ve got a lot of capable candidates for captaincy. We’ll just have to wait and see. My guess is as good as yours.”

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