Faldo praise for Clarke and McDowell

By Brian Keogh

Ryder Cup skipper Nick Faldo is delighted to see Darren Clarke come back to winning form.

But the English superstar was tight-lipped and uptight in a Ryder Cup press conference at Wentworth.

The six-time Major winner refused to make any announcements on who will act as his assistants at Valhalla following the resignation of Paul McGinley last September.

But he did find time to send his congratulations to Clarke following his emergence from the golfing doldrums in last month's BMW Asian Open.

Faldo said: "It was great, probably more so for what Darren has been through off the golf course.

"For him to come back was very emotional. He's been trying hard, hasn't he.

"I got a quick glimpse of that, saw the putt and obviously I congratulate Darren on his efforts."

Asked what the win said about Clarke's character, Faldo said: "Well, what he showed at The K Club was character beyond belief really."

Graeme Dowell revealed that Faldo also gave him words of encouragement following his Ballantine's Championship win in Korea.

McDowell said: "He came out on the golf course at the CA Championship in Doral the following week and said 'Hello, well done and keep it up.'

"He is going to be a great captain. This is not the important part of the captaincy for him - it's all media relations and building up the event. Picking the team and what he does in that team room in September is going to be the important part."