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Darren Clarke seeks Ryder Cup place

Darren Clarke has asked to be considered as one of Europe's Ryder Cup wildcards, his management company told Reuters on Wednesday.

The Northern Irishman lost his wife Heather to breast cancer on Aug. 13 but has said he is ready, if selected, to face the United States at The K Club in County Kildare, Ireland next month.

"Woosie (Europe captain Ian Woosnam) is aware that Darren would like to be considered. Of course he will abide by any decision taken, a spokesman from Clarke's management company, International Sports Management, said.

Clarke boasts a fine record in the Ryder Cup -- he has been on the winning side three times in his previous four appearances -- and will be a hot favourite for one of Woosnam's two 'picks', which will be handed out on Sunday after Europe's automatic top 10 places are decided.

Clarke is expected to play in the Madrid Masters in two weeks time, his first tournament since missing the cut in the British Open in July, after which he took a break to care for Heather.

"He feels if he is picked, he needs a competitive week," the ISM spokesman added.

Clarke, who has not been able to challenge for an automatic place because of taking so much time off through his wife's lengthy illness, has to commit to the Madrid Masters by this Friday.

Woosnam, asked on Wednesday if Clarke would be considered, replied: "All I've heard is that Darren is available to play in the Ryder Cup. It is a possibility. He is a possible, yes."

August 31, 2006


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