Europe's Rory McIlroy hits from a bunker on the eighth hole during a practice round for the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota.
Europe's Rory McIlroy hits from a bunker on the eighth hole during a practice round for the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota. David J. Phillip

McIlroy inspired by Clarke's Ryder Cup leadership

GOLF: FedEx Cup winner Rory McIlroy will be wanting to add another Ryder Cup to his collection when it gets under way in Minnesota on Friday (AEST).

McIlroy, who won the season-ending Tour Championship to take the $10 million bonus, said childhood hero Darren Clarke would be one of his inspirations as Europe looks to win the trophy for the fourth time in a row.

McIlroy was only 10 when he first met Europe skipper Clarke 17 years ago and he said he had always looked up to his fellow Northern Irishman.

"I've always wanted the win for the captain, but probably even more so this year because of Darren and the relationship we have,” he said.

He added that being a player under Clarke is "special for both of us”.

McIlroy has never been part of a losing Ryder Cup team since his debut at Celtic Manor six years ago.

In a team featuring six Cup debutants, the world No.3's experience will be key for Clarke, who was a vice-captain of the successful Europe teams in 2010 and 2012.


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