Harrington backs Clarke for captain

Padraig Harrington has backed Darren Clarke to lead the 2016 European Ryder Cup team.

Harrington thinks the Northern Irishman would be a great fit for the job, but he has warned that anyone taking over from Paul McGinley will have large shoes to fill.

Harrington's backing for Clarke comes after Miguel Angel Jimenez essentially removed himself from the running for the role.

Harrington said: "Darren, I really think he is the man for the job, but I think he's a shoo-in now because it was nip and tuck between himself and Jimenez, but Jimenez has now given the committee an out. It's easy not to pick because he said he wants to play. It's a no-brainer. Nobody is going to be upset if they don't pick him now, because he himself gave them an out. 

"I see Darren as a natural choice. He's been great for Europe over the years. He's won the Order of Merit. He's been great in the Ryder Cup. I think he'll do a great job."

He added: "Nobody – all of our good captains – none of them did a job like the way Paul McGinley did. He did the job completely different. 

"Our previous captains were I'd say a lot more emotional about what they were doing, and it worked brilliantly, obviously. But going forward it's going to put a lot of pressure on captains, that, look, if they don't win, people will say well, you didn't put the 3.5 years of Paul McGinley's life he put into this Ryder Cup. The last two years of his playing career were really put aside just to be Ryder Cup captain. So he's put a lot up to every captain going forward."