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Clarke withdraws as candidate for 2014 Europe Ryder Cup captain

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FILE - This July 20, 2010 file photo shows Irish golfer Paul McGinley during a press conference at Wentworth Golf club in Virginia Water, England. McGinley appears to be the front-runner to become Europe's Ryder Cup captain for 2014 after Darren Clarke raised doubts about taking on the responsibility. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)The Associated Press

Darren Clarke says he is out of the running for Europe's Ryder Cup captain as he looks to concentrate on his golf game.

The decision by the 2011 British Open Champion wasn't a surprise given he hinted last week he might withdraw. But with Clarke having advised 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. Several other players, including third-ranked Luke Donald, have also endorsed McGinley.