Clarke expecting Ryder Cup selection headache


Darren Clarke expects Europe's seasoned professionals to return to form in the coming months and give him a Ryder Cup selection headache.

The make-up of Clarke's team for the 2016 edition of the tournament in Hazeltine, which gets under way in September, currently includes a number of rookies - the likes of Danny Willett, Andy Sullivan and Matthew Fitzpatrick occupying three of the positions.

Meanwhile, former winners Graeme McDowell, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter are struggling for form and need to improve if they are to be involved in the selection discussion.

Speaking ahead of the Masters - the year's first major - Clarke is confident they will raise their game and challenge the young guns as Europe look to claim a fourth successive win.

"The team that we have right now, there's about four definites who are in there at the moment and then obviously there's a lot of other places up for grabs," he told BBC Sport. 

"I'm watching everybody, all the guys who are on the verge of making the team.

"At the moment, there are a lot of guys that haven't played Ryder Cup before who are pushing for places, a lot of rookies.

"But you are getting into the meat of the season now with the majors and the World Golf Championship events taking place and that's where you would expect the seasoned veterans to step up a little bit. So it's interesting times.

"It's all about balancing the team, we've got to balance the team up with who we think are going to be the best suited to make up the whole team."