Report: McGinley's vote will make Clarke captain

Darren Clarke will be voted Team Europe’s 2016 Ryder Cup captain on Wednesday, according to a report from the London Telegraph.

Per the Telegraph: “Paul McGinley will put aside his personal differences on Wednesday to give Clarke the vote which will carry him over the line in the race to become Europe’s Ryder Cup captain.”

McGinley, Europe’s 2014 captain, is part of a five-man panel that will select a new captain for the 2016 matches at Hazeltine.

The panel further consists of former captains Jose Maria Olazabal and Colin Montgomerie, outgoing European Tour chief executive George O’Grady and Ryder Cup veteran David Howell, but according to the Telegraph, O’Grady and Howell “will step in only if the three immediate past captains cannot reach a decision.”

The report identifies Montgomerie as a clear Clarke supporter while Olazabal will be forced to pick between a friend, McGinley, and a fellow countryman, Miguel Angel Jimenez, the other leading candidate. That likely leaves McGinley as the deciding vote.

Friends for years, McGinley and Clarke drifted apart, according to the Telegraph, “after Clarke moved back to Portrush following the death of his first wife, Heather. But the real split occurred after McGinley perceived Clarke as going back on a promise to allow him free run at the 2014 captaincy.”

McGinley has maintained following Team Europe’s win at Gleneagles that he would try to respect the player’s wishes in selecting a new captain. Team veterans Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood have all expressed their support for Clarke.

Clarke served as a vice captain under both Montgomerie and Olazabal in the 2010 and 2012 matches but did not under McGinley in 2014. As a player, Clarke competed on five consecutive teams from 1997 to 2006, compiling a 10-7-3 record en route to four European victories.

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