Clarke backs Europe to come back stronger


Darren Clarke believes Europe will come back stronger in the Ryder Cup in 2018 with increased competition for places following their defeat to the United States on Sunday.

Captain Clarke saw his bid to guide Europe to a fourth successive triumph fall short as Ryan Moore beat Lee Westwood to claim the decisive point at Hazeltine.

The USA wrapped up a 17-11 triumph, marking their first victory since 2008, completing the win with successes in seven of the final day's singles contests. 

But Clarke said: "I have to say, this week, I couldn't be more proud of the guys that I'm surrounded with. They did everything I asked of them. They tried their heart out. They worked hard. They fought hard.

"We're all gutted and disappointed, and we will be back stronger to fight in two years' time in Paris."

Asked about possible team selection for 2018 and the possibility of French players competing for Europe at Le Golf National, Clarke added: "Well, thankfully, I won't be captain in two years' time.

"I'm sure with the amount of talent that we have coming through on The European Tour, there will be some of the French guys coming through.

"You take a look at Alex Levy a couple of weeks ago, he played fantastic. He won comfortably. There's going to be quite a few of those guys pushing for that place.

"Whoever makes that team in Paris will be a very strong team again for The European Tour, and as Rory [McIlroy] rightly says, it could be exactly the same guys lining up again when it comes to Paris.

"But if there is a French National in there, then that would be wonderful, as well."