Darren Clarke’s Open win has boosted Paul McGinley’s chances of getting the 2014 Ryder Cup captaincy.
Clarke was set to battle McGinley for the job at Gleneagles but as a major winner he now hopes he can qualify for the next two teams.
That leaves the way clear for McGinley to become the first Irishman to skipper a European Ryder Cup side in Scotland in three years’ time.
Asked how good McGinley’s captaincy chances were now, Clarke’s manager Chubby Chandler said: “Better than they were. Darren wants to play in Gleneagles.”
Jose Maria Olazabal will skipper Europe in Chicago in 14 months and while qualifying doesn’t start until September, Clarke has an excellent chance of winning his sixth cap at Medinah.
Asked if he’d like to skipper the side, Clarke said: “I’ve just won The Open. So I’d like to think that I can still contend for a place in 2014. It is definitely still an ambition at some stage.
“If I get the opportunity to be Ryder Cup captain, possibly I may have a little bit more respect from players having been a major champion.
“Unfortunately these points don’t qualify for the team next year, but in saying that, I am a major champion, so Jose Maria will be paying attention, as he always does, so we’ll see where that brings me.”
Clarke could captain the side at Hazeltine in Minnesota in 2016 when he will be 48.
He said: “When I’m possibly going to be captain, I don’t know. It may or may not put my aspirations back a little bit, a couple of years from when I thought I may have been the captain.
“So we shall see and see what the Committee, when their thinking is it’s best for me to be captain, if they ask me.”
Clarke had also been tipped to captain the GB&I Seve Trophy side in France in September but now looks certain to play.
He said: “Playing is much better than being a non-playing captain.”
Clarke had always said he would prefer to captain Europe in an away match but with his career showing signs of deterioration despite his Mallorca win, he had set his sights on doing the job in Scotland on 2014.
That would have put him on a collision course with his former ISM stablemate McGinley, considered one of the favourites to land the job alongside outsiders Thomas Bjorn and Miguel Angel Jimenez.
It would have been a tricky job for Clarke, who slammed the suitability of Gleneagles’ Centenary Course as a Ryder Cup venue during the Johnnie Walker Championship in 2007.
“I think it is unbelievable they have chosen this course to stage the 2014 match. There’s only been one Ryder Cup in Scotland, in 1973, and then they choose a course like this one.”
Links gem Muirfield hosted the Ryder Cup in 1973 and while Clarke likes the other courses at Glenagles, such as the King’s or Queen’s, he is not so sure about the Centenary Course as a Ryder Cup venue.
He added: “There are even two better ones here at Gleneagles. Scotland is the home of golf and we should not be playing on an American-style course. It’s beyond my comprehension.
“Gleneagles is a wonderful venue but this is the wrong course. The Ryder Cup is steeped in history and I just can’t see it here.
“There was the same argument about The K Club in Ireland. But Ireland doesn’t stage big, fantastic golf events as often as they do here Scotland.
“Scotland has got everything that happens when it comes to golf - the Open, the Dunhill Links, the Senior Open and now the Women’s British Open.
“At the end of the day, all I am doing is telling the truth. I know I am going to be ripped for it. The Centenary Course at Gleneagles is a good tournament venue but not for a Ryder Cup.”
Speaking on Monday, Clarke stood over his criticism of Gleneagles, which course designer Nicklaus has tweaked recently.
“I’ve made some disparaging remarks about Gleneagles in the past, and my views actually when it comes to my views, they’re quite straightforward,” Clarke said. “And to me a spade is a spade and I’ll say what I think. And to some people’s liking and some people may not like it, but I’ll say what I think.
“I’ve always done that, and I will stand by what I said. You know, at some stage in the future that may come back to get me, but I will always stand by what I’ve said.”