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Published: 08:53 | 27/9/16

Clarke: Every Ryder Cup is different


Europe's previous success in the Ryder Cup will count for nothing when they renew rivalry with the United States at Hazeltine later this week, captain Darren Clarke has said.

Europe have won eight of the last ten competitions and will be bidding for a fourth successive win when they go up against Davis Love's US in Minnesota.

Despite their recent domination, Clarke insists it will not have a bearing on the outcome of this year's tournament.

Speaking at the first captain's press conference, Clarke said: "Each Ryder Cup is individual in its own rights. We have had different scenarios going on in past Ryder Cups and this is a totally different one where we're currently under the shadow of Mr Palmer's passing away.

"And you know, we will pay our respects, but come Friday we will be out there battling like the two great teams that we are. It's something that whatever happens this week, it will be another great chapter in the history of The Ryder Cup, and certainly one that goes along with honouring Mr Palmer as well."

The European team features six rookies, including Masters champion Danny Willett, but Clarke has no doubt that they will be ready for the pressure that comes with playing on American soil.

"We have six first-timers on the team this year, but of those guys, one of them is a Masters champion and those guys play a lot of their golf over here now anyway. I know The Ryder Cup is a totally different animal altogether, but those guys are ready and they are prepared," he said.

"They have spoken a lot to the vice captains and myself over this build-up into the tournament, and they know what to expect. The home support is going to be loud, it's going to be vociferous and rightly so; that's the way it should be. That's what makes The Ryder Cup so special.

"They are all so keen to get out there and play and savour the whole atmosphere of the Ryder Cup. There's a wonderful mixture of youth in there, as well. And from a European point of view, they are really looking forward to it. They are excited."

Love did not finalise his team until Sunday when he named Ryan Moore as his final wildcard selection.

The decision to include Moore as his fourth and final pick meant Bubba Watson missed out on selection, but the former Masters champion has been appointed as his fifth vice-captain.

"Bubba was obviously disappointed not to be on the team. But as our team has really bonded together over the last couple months, Bubba has offered a couple times to come and be one of our assistant captains, and I told him we had an extra red cart and we'd love to have him," Love said.

"So he's back at the hotel trying to get his clothes fit and get ready for assistant captain duties, much like Jim Furyk. Jim didn't really know until maybe a week ago that he was officially an assistant captain and not a player. Our team has rounded out both on the captains' side and the players' side, and we're ready to go and excited to get to playing."

Both teams will pay tribvute to Arnold Palmer during the competition with a video tribute and minute's silence set to be held during the opening ceremony.

"The PGA Tour and the Palmer family created a logo and an 'Arnie's Army' mention and I think there's going to be buttons for the fans and pins for the players," Love said. "Darren and I have agreed, whatever we do, we are going to do together.

"It's almost like we are all dealing with the loss of a family member, and how is that going to affect both teams over the next few days.

These guys from the European Team, they respected and loved Arnold Palmer and played in his golf tournament and lived in Orlando, so who knows how it's going to play out for an inspiration, but I think we're just going to have to deal with it the next couple of days.

"Arnold is going to want us to put this behind us and go play, and it's going to be tough to do, but we are definitely going to draw inspiration from his spirit. We already had pictures of him in our locker room and team room, and we'll add a few more. He'll be with us forever.

"For a lot of us, he was our captain, as well, and will always be the King for us. It's going to be a different week for both sides, I think."

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