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Ryder Cup: Clarke, McGinley and Bjorn are vice-captains

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Respect and passion key for Monty

Colin Montgomerie has named Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke as one of three vice-captains for the European Ryder Cup team to face the United States.

Irishman Paul McGinley and Denmark's Thomas Bjorn will join Clarke as vice-captains at Celtic Manor.

European captain Montgomerie announced his backroom team on Tuesday for the event in Wales from 1-3 October.

US captain Corey Pavin has selected four vice-captains in Tom Lehman, Jeff Sluman, Davis Love and Paul Goydos.

Jose Maria Olazabal has not been named as a member of Montgomerie's staff, with the Spaniard struggling with rheumatism - although he could still take on the captaincy in Chicago in 2012.

Montgomerie said his new team would give Europe the best possible opportunity to win back the Ryder Cup after defeat by the US in Valhalla in 2008.

"The four of us up here have huge respect from the players that will be in the team and that is vital," stated Montgomerie.

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"This is the strongest non-playing team we have ever assembled on and off the field in Europe. It is a fabulous time for golf in Europe."

While McGinley and Bjorn were expected to be named vice-captains, Clarke could still force himself into the team in a playing role after finishing second at the Scottish Open.

When asked whether that would cause a problem, four-time Ryder Cup winner Clarke replied: "Monty and I spoke at length about that and he has told me he wants me there one way or another.

European golf stronger than ever - Clarke

"If I do well enough in the coming weeks to give him an extra headache - not that he hasn't got one already - then we will cross that bridge then.

"But, as it stands, I'm not an automatic pick and I'm delighted to be part of Monty's backroom staff."

The 41-year-old inspired Europe to their third consecutive Ryder Cup triumph in 2006, winning three points from three matches at the K Club only weeks after the death of his wife, Heather.

RYDER CUP MATCH RECORDS
Bjorn: Won 3 Lost 2 Halved 1
Clarke: Won 10 Lost 7 Halved 3
McGinley: Won 2 Lost 2 Halved 5

Montgomerie and his three vice-captains played together in Europe's Ryder Cup win at the Belfry in 2002 and that winning formula is something McGinley hopes they can bring to the team.

"We have all been fortunate to be involved in winning teams," said McGinley, who has played in three Ryder Cups.

"It is important we take those principles that have worked in the past and go forward with them."

Montgomerie's counterpart Pavin described the selection of Clarke, McGinley and Bjorn as "great picks".

And Pavin added: "I picked four because I wanted to have an assistant captain walking with each group in the four matches the first two days and to keep an eye on things.

McGinley 'ready' for vice captaincy

"That's just my choice and obviously Colin felt three was enough.

"I had my reasons for picking my assistants and I'm sure Colin has his. I think they are excellent, excellent people to have out there helping.

"During the week it's very important, I think, for the assistants to take a load off of me."

With six weeks until Montgomerie names his 12-man team, the nine automatic qualifying positions are occupied by Lee Westwood, Rory McIlroy, Francesco Molinari, Luke Donald, Graeme McDowell, Ian Poulter, Martin Kaymer, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Ross McGowan.

As things stands, world number eight Paul Casey, Padraig Harrington, Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia, Robert Karlsson and Ross Fisher would be in the hunt for one of three wild cards.

For the US, only the top eight players in the US Ryder Cup table qualify automatically. The cut-off date is 15 August, after the final round of the USPGA Championship at Whistling Straits.

Monty will have last word - Bjorn

Tiger Woods currently sits in one of the automatic spots, along with Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Steve Stricker, Jim Furyk, Anthony Kim, Lucas Glover and Matt Kuchar.

Pavin names his four wild-card picks on 7 September, with the likes of Hunter Mahan, Ben Crane, Bubba Watson, Zach Johnson, Kenny Perry and last year's Open winner Stewart Cink all in the frame.



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see also
Anxious Ryder Cup wait for Casey
19 Jul 10 |  Golf
Price tipped for Ryder Cup role
19 Jul 10 |  Golf
Monty waits to name Cup deputies
01 Jul 10 |  Golf
Olazabal unsure of Ryder Cup role
25 Mar 09 |  Golf
Faldo proud of team despite loss
21 Sep 08 |  Golf


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