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Clarke lined up to be Ryder Cup vice-captain

According to reports last night, Darren Clarke is to be announced today as one of Colin Montgomerie's vice-captain's for the Europe team which contests the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor in October.

Clarke, who secured his place in Ryder Cup folklore by winning three points from three matches in 2006 at the K Club just weeks after the death of his wife Heather from breast cancer would be an inspirational choice as Europe seek to wrest the trophy back from the United States.

It is reported in The Guardian that Paul McGinley and Thomas Bjorn will be Clarke's fellow vice-captains but most attention will focus on the popular Northern Irishman, who was an ever-present in the European team from 1997 before being snubbed by Nick Faldo two years ago.

Clarke has since suffered a slump in fortunes but showed that his form was beginning to improve when finishing second at the Scottish Open at Loch Lomond two weeks ago.

Aside from the emotional scenes when Europe triumphed in Ireland four years ago , perhaps his best Ryder Cup performance was in 1999 at Brookline in Massachusetts when in partnership with Lee Westwood they beat Tiger Woods and David Duval, then they two best players in the world.

It is believed that Clarke still held some hopes of being one of Montgomerie's wildcard picks for Celtic Manor but the Europe captain has moved to insure that the 41-year-old's involvement in a non-playing role in October. His appointment should be confirmed by an announcement at Wentworth today.