Christy O'Connor Jnr believes Darren Clarke must finish mourning before he can compete.

O'Connor lost his son Darren, 17, in a car crash nine years ago.

And he believes the Ulsterman has failed to cope with the loss of his wife because he hasn't had a chance to grieve.

O'Connor said: "It’s my honest opinion that he didn’t go through what you need to go through when you lose somebody. Everyone has to do that. Then all of a sudden here you are, Ryder Cup is over and you find yourself on your own with two kids.

"I do think he will come out the other side. He’s a very strong player, he’s my kind of player. I love him.

"I know what it’s like. You have to go through that period of readjustment. Now he’s having it and I know he will come through it.

"He’s too good a player. He will be back but not until it is all settled and he has had the chance to do everything that you need to do in these circumstances."

O'Connor sees Clarke as a future Ryder Cup skipper - with McGinley as his sidekick.

He said: "He’d have a great way with people. He and Paul would be a fantastic team."