From The European Tour
The 46 year old Northern Irishman was announced as the man to lead Europe’s quest for a record-breaking fourth consecutive Ryder Cup victory at Hazeltine in 19 months’ time, and has been overwhelmed by the messages of goodwill he has received from the world of golf.
But before he gets to the business end of his captaincy, Clarke is hoping that his new position will enable him to find a winning formula on the fairways of the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club as he looks to recapture his best form.
“Obviously my own competitive instincts haven’t been too good of late and the captaincy might actually be a blessing in disguise in terms of my golf because it will take my mind away from practising too hard and I’ll have a lot of things to focus on,” said Clarke.
“Hopefully it will help me play a little bit better. Certainly this year, I don’t think the captaincy will make an awful lot of difference, but I would imagine next year it would make a big difference in my playing schedule.”
Clarke will have to overcome a strong field, spearheaded by two of South Africa’s finest exponents of the game in defending champion George Coetzee and Richard Sterne, who is looking to make it a hat-trick of Joburg Open titles this week.