Monday 20 November 2017

Clarke shoo-in for skipper as clubs talk for Jimenez

Darren Clarke
Darren Clarke

William S Callahan

DARREN CLARKE yesterday said he'd 'love' to be Ryder Cup skipper in 2016 as Miguel Angel Jimenez let his clubs do the talking in Thailand - they told us why it'd be daft right now to make the Spaniard captain.

Undeterred by a head cold, Jimenez (51) breezed into the 36-hole lead at the True Thailand Classic on 11-under after a second round 66 at Black Mountain.

With the captain for Hazeltine to be decided at next Wednesday's meeting of the five man selection committee, Jimenez said: "I've put my name in there. I'd be proud to lead the team if chosen."

He then laughed: "If I start playing very well and the thing happens, maybe I say 'hey, I'm going to play now'. You never know what'll happen. At the moment, if I'm selected, I'll be captain. If not, I'll try to be in the team anyway."

Since April's remarkable fourth place at The Masters, Jimenez extended his own record as the European Tour's oldest winner in the Spanish Open then won twice on the US Champions (Senior) Tour. Events in Thailand suggest more success for the World No 45.

Clarke would be less conflicted than Jimenez in giving the role the 100 per cent required. "If it's Miguel, I'd be delighted for him," he said. "But I'd love to do the job."

Michael Hoey, leader after Thursday's course record 64, shot 72 to share sixth on eight-under in Thailand. Damien McGrane made the cut in 48th after a splendid 67.

Shane Lowry eased into the top-30 on seven-under at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am with a second round of four-under 67 at Monterey Peninsula, while the Clara man and partner Dermot Desmond (12) were in the top-five in the team event on 20-under.

While Lowry birdied the final hole, the par-three ninth, his playing companion Padraig Harrington made a closing four for a 71 that left him hovering around the projected cut mark on four-under playing Spyglass Hill today. This after a doughty fightback by Harrington from a treble-bogey seven at 13, his fourth.

A nine-under 62 at Monterey Peninsula brought San Diego winner Jason Day roaring into the equation on nine under, three shy of leaders Matt Jones and Brandt Snedeker. A 76 at Spyglass left Paul McGinley on six-over and playing just for fun at Pebble Beach today.

True Thailand Classic,

Live, Sky Sports 4, 6.0am

AT&T Pebble Beach ProAm,

Live, Sky Sports 4, 6.0pm

Indo Sport

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