Darren Clarke hopes Open victory leads to Ryder Cup call
Darren Clarke fulfilled one dream by winning The Open, but he has two more - returning to the Ryder Cup side next year and then becoming Europe's captain at some point.
Clarke was one of Colin Montgomerie's vice-captains in Wales last October and says of possibly taking charge one day: "It is definitely still an ambition.
"And if I get the opportunity to be Ryder Cup captain, possibly I may have a little bit more respect from players having been a major champion.
"When I'm possibly going to be captain I don't know. It may or may not put my aspirations back a couple of years from when I thought I may have been."
Jose Maria Olazabal will lead the team in Chicago in 14 months' time, and Dubliner Paul McGinley, at 44 two years older than Clarke, is favourite for Gleneagles in 2014.
Ulsterman Clarke's popularity in America would make him a candidate for Hazeltine in Minnesota in 2016, when he would be 48.
Clarke's last playing involvement was five years ago, when he had a stunning three wins out of three in Europe's victory a mere six weeks after his wife Heather lost her breast cancer fight.
His triumph at Sandwich does not help him, though, in terms of gathering points for next year's team. The qualifying race does not start until September.
"In saying that, I am a major champion," he added. "Jose Maria will be paying attention, as he always does, so we'll see where that brings me."
Latest in Sport
Angel Di Maria reveals wish to return to Argentina - but don't worry Manchester United fans...
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
Husain Abdullah penalised after celebrating a touchdown with a Muslim prayer - causing mass outrage among fans
Robin van Persie reveals Louis van Gaal wants Manchester United to 'be more Dutch and pull on the same rope'
Manchester United risk Uefa row over plan to play lucrative midweek friendlies
- 1 Sainsbury's '50p challenge' poster telling staff to encourage customers to spend more placed in shop window instead of staff room
- 2 Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
- 3 HeForShe campaign: Iceland to follow up Emma Watson speech with UN women's rights conference – for men only
- 4 Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
- 5 Teenagers irritable because early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so