ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - Darren Clarke is out of the running for Europe's Ryder Cup captain, saying Tuesday he wants to concentrate on his golf.
The decision by the 2011 British Open champion wasn't a surprise after hinting last week he might withdraw. But with Clarke advising the European Tour's tournament committee of his decision, it makes it a two-man race ahead of the vote in Abu Dhabi later Tuesday.
The favorite for the job is Paul McGinley, who faces a late challenge from former captain Colin Montgomerie.
McGinley received the backing of top-ranked Rory McIlroy, who has aggressively campaigned for the 46-year-old Irishman and raised concerns about Montgomerie leading the team for a second time. Other players, including third-ranked Luke Donald, have also endorsed McGinley.
Clarke said he informed Thomas Bjorn, chairman of the players committee, that he did not ``want to be considered for the Ryder Cup captaincy in 2014.''
``It was not a spur of the moment decision,'' Clarke said. ``I have been agonizing over what to do since I showed a few glimpses of my old form in Thailand and Australia at the end of last year.''