Northern Irish golfer Darren Clarke has been named as one of Colin Montgomerie’s three vice-captains on the European Ryder Cup team to compete against the USA

At a Wentworth-based press conference, Montgomerie elaborated on why he hadn’t chosen Spaniard Jose Maria Olazabal as part of his team, saying that is was because of his “lack of participation” in the European tour over the past two years, adding that he preferred for his top players to be playing the game “week in, week out”.

Clarke will be joined as a vice-captain by Thomas Bjorn and fellow Irishman Paul McGinely, who’s best known, perhaps, for landing the winning putt in the 2002 Ryder Cup.

Clarke missed out on a captaincy position  in the last Ryder Cup, after being snubbed by Nick Faldo, but seems eager to take at least some of the helm in this year’s tournament in Wales which is 72 days away.

Clarke was chosen by Ian Wosnam as one of his two wild cards in the 2006 Ryder Cup contributing three points from three matches to assist in Europe’s victory.

The golfer’s wife died tragically of breast cancer, though he has since had several relationships. Currently he’s believed to be dating Northern Irish beauty pageant owner Allison Campbell.

"Today is a very special day," said captain Montgomerie at a press conference at Wentworth, the headquarters of the European Tour, before announcing the successful three as his vice-captains.

Clarke and McGinley’s positions were confirmed officially at a press conference today.