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Faldo a perfect choice says Clarke

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LONDON, England -- Nick Faldo is the perfect choice to lead Europe when they defend the Ryder Cup in Kentucky in 2008, according to Darren Clarke.

"He (Faldo) will be fantastic," the 38-year-old Briton said, as he signed copies of his new book 'Heroes All, My Ryder Cup Story 2006'.

"Nick was very methodical, very thorough when he played on the tour. He is the best golfer we've ever produced.

"Six major championships is a big tally and I think he'll be very much on the ball with the way he's going to prepare. I think he'll be a great captain."

Asked how Faldo would differ in style to his predecessor Ian Woosnam, the Northern Irishman said: "He might not be drinking the Guinness in the bar but he will know all the players inside out.

"I am sure he will be a little different and hopefully I can be a part of it all."

The United States, desperate to avoid a fourth successive Ryder Cup defeat at Valhalla in September 2008, have revamped their selection system, doubling the amount of wildcard picks from two to four for skipper Paul Azinger.

Clarke wants the system left unchanged when Europe decide on their qualifying criteria in the new year.

"Having four picks is quite a big change from what they have done before, but I think if you take a look at the past couple of teams we've fielded, we can only concentrate on ourselves," said the world number 33.

"With the results we've had recently, I don't think we need to change anything. The teams we are producing are good enough to compete with the Americans."

Clarke plans to take the rest of this year off before returning to competitive golf when Europe take on Asia at the Royal Trophy in Bangkok in January.


He said the camaraderie and banter in the team room was a major factor behind Europe's 18 1/2 - 9 1/2 win over the United States at the K Club in Ireland in September.

"We all know each other so well because we all play the same tournaments around the world and we tend to spend a lot of time in each other's company, even when we're not playing in the Ryder Cup," said Clarke.

"We have built friendships over a very long time and it's great to get us all together in one room.

"I was behind the Guinness pump most of the time and the rest of the team were eating. But we had a really enjoyable time.

"If one person made one little mistake, the rest of us were on to him, having fun."

Faldo won six of golf's major championships during his playing career.

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