Captain Clarke

Updated 1527 GMT (2327 HKT) December 14, 2015
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Darren Clarke will be Europe's Ryder Cup captain for the 2016 battle against the United States. The Northern Irishman has a storied history in the competition, featuring five times as a player and twice as a vice captain. He has been on the losing side just once, in 1999. Andrew Redington/Getty Images/file
Clarke beat off competition from Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez (pictured) to become captain, with Denmark's Thomas Bjorn also under consideration by Europe's five-man selection panel that included former skippers Paul McGinley, Jose Maria Olazabal and Colin Montgomerie. Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images/file
Clarke's first Ryder Cup appearance came in 1997 when Europe defeated the United States by a score of 14½ to 13½ at Valderrama in Spain under the captaincy of the late, great Seve Ballesteros. Getty Images/file
Clarke has been involved in seven Ryder Cups as a player and a vice captain and has lost only once -- in 1999. The infamous "Battle of Brookline" was punctuated by moments of controversy as the U.S. stormed back from a deficit of 10-6 going into the singles to win 14½ to 13½. Stephen Munday/Getty Images/file
After a year's postponement due to the 9/11 tragedy in New York, Clarke was back on the winning side in 2002 when Europe regained the trophy thanks to a 15½ - 12½ victory at the Belfry near Birmingham. Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images/file
More success followed in 2004 when Europe trounced the U.S. team 18½ - 9½ at Oakland Hills. Clarke won 3½ points out of a possible five in the biggest winning margin since 1981. David Cannon/Getty Images/file
Clarke's last Ryder Cup appearance as a player was perhaps the most memorable. Playing just six weeks after his wife Heather had succumbed to cancer, Clarke was roared on by a vociferous home crowd at the K Club in Dublin, Ireland. An emotional Clarke won three out of three points as Europe repeated a huge victory margin of nine points.
Clarke has also served a vice captain twice, in 2010 and 2012. He assisted Jose Maria Olazabal (R) during Europe's incredible comeback at Medinah in 2012, when it retained the trophy 14½ to 13½ having trailed 10-6 going into Sunday's singles. Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images/file
Clarke enjoyed the support of many high profile European players, world No. 1 and Rory McIlroy (pictured) part of a group that included Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Grame McDowell. Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images/file