RORY McIlroy’s Tour Championship-FedExCup Series double in Atlanta at the weekend has given Europe's team a mighty fillip ahead of Friday’s Ryder Cup, said captain Darren Clarke .
World No3 McIlroy rolled in a 15-foot birdie putt at the fourth play-off hole on Sunday to beat American Ryan Moore and win the season-ending PGA Tour event, FedExCup honours and a mind-boggling $10m bonus.
"From a European perspective it is always good to have one of our members win the week before the Ryder Cup," Clarke said at Hazeltine National.
"With the guys that were travelling here today on the plane, we were all there last night with all our caddies in the bar in the hotel watching it on the big screen. Everyone was delighted and excited.
"Rory is a wonderful young man and an unbelievable golfer so he’s a hugely inspirational figure for our team and I feel very lucky he’s on our European side."
McIlroy vaulted into the play-off with a barnstorming finish to his final round, holing out from 140 yards to eagle the same 16th hole where he would clinch the win 90 minutes later.
"To see Rory showing that fighting spirit and battling the way he did was wonderful," said Clarke . "He has played very well all year. He wasn’t knocking the putts in before but he has done a little these past few weeks."
The 27-year-old Northern Irishman stormed home in 30 strokes to catch, and eventually overtake, the leaders on Sunday.
"To shoot what he did on the back nine.… That was very impressive," said Clarke.