Sam Torrance has been named as Europe’s fifth and final vice-captain for the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine in September. Torrance, who captained the Europeans to victory in 2002, joins Ian Poulter, Padraig Harrington, Paul Lawrie and Thomas Bjorn as assistants to Darren Clarke.
The 62-year-old Torrance’s position was confirmed by Clarke at Baltusrol on the eve of the US PGA Championship. “I wanted somebody there who has been through it all before, who has had that Ryder Cup captain experience part of my backroom team,” Clarke said.
“Sam thankfully accepted my invitation to join the team. I’m very pleased and privileged that Sam is going to be part of it. He’s absolutely delighted, as am I. He’s got a big heart for the Ryder Cup, and I’m sure that will show through during the week.
“Sam has been a very good friend of mine for a long time. He was a wonderful captain to play under at The Belfry. He was very, very thorough. Everybody that played under him enjoyed the whole week because it can be a difficult week at times. But Sam put everybody at ease and made everybody feel very, very comfortable.
“Something may come up during the week at Hazeltine that I may not be expecting. So I think to have somebody of Sam’s experience in the back room who has been through everything himself can only benefit me. I don’t expect anything to come up, but if something does and I need his wisdom and guidance for, I can’t think of a better man to have there.”
Clarke played down the suggestion that Sir Alex Ferguson will provide a team talk for the European players. The legendary football manager had done likewise before Europe defeated the United States at Gleneagles in 2014.
“Sir Alex is going to the Ryder Cup,” said Clarke. “At the moment I don’t really have any plans to have him in there [the team room].
“He has certainly kindly offered any advice that I may need. I may have him in the team room at some stage; I may not. I haven’t quite decided as yet.”
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