Sunday, July 17, 2011

After a Difficult Road, A Whole New Legacy

Darren Clarke dedicates Open victory to his children

Darren Clarke celebrates winning the Open
Clarke seals Open triumph
Darren Clarke has dedicated his Open victory at Royal St George's to his children and late wife.
The Northern Irishman won by three shots after shooting a level-par 70 to win his first major title.
Afterwards he paid tribute to Heather, who died in 2006 from breast cancer, and their sons Tyrone and Conor.
Clarke said: "There's obviously somebody watching from up there and I know she'd be very proud. But I think she'd be more proud of my two boys."
"It's for the kids," he added. "They played golf at Royal Portrush this morning and were watching on TV.
"Heather would probably be saying, 'I told you so'."
The 42-year-old becomes Northern Ireland's third major champion in little over a year, following Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy's wins at the US Open.
Clarke's five-under par total for the tournament saw off the American pair of Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson, who finished joint second, with Denmark's Thomas Bjorn a shot further back in fourth.
It left the Northern Irishman promising "a long and very enjoyable" night of celebration.
"I'm on Weight Watchers tomorrow morning," he quipped after completing his victory. "There's five points in a pint of Guinness... I think this could probably be a bad week for me to try and start."
Clarke is the first Open winner from the UK since Paul Lawrie won it in 1999, and only the second champion from Northern Ireland (following in the footsteps of Fred Daly's triumph in 1947).
Clarke will next be in action at the Irish Open in Killarney on 28 July and he promised: "I may not be sober for the Irish Open, but I will be in Killarney.
"It's pretty amazing right now, to tell you the truth. It's been a dream since I've been a kid to win the Open, like any kid's dream is, and I'm able to do it, which just feels incredible.
"I played okay today, I did what I needed to do. The last couple of holes I was trying not to make any stupid mistakes. I just tried to play really carefully and it was good enough to win."
The Sandwich tournament was the 54th major in which Clarke had participated, and he had not had a top-10 finish for a decade.
But he said: "I've got here in the end. It may be the only major that I win, it may not be the only major that I win, but at least I've gone out there today and did my best, and my best was good enough to win.More....

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