Darren Clarke wins British Open title in spectacular display
Continues amazing Northern Ireland wins in major championships
“It has been an emotional time – this win is for my boys,” declared Darren as he followed Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Padraig Harrington into the Major winners’ enclosure.
“Everybody goes through difficulties and stuff and I have had a really tough one but it is fine. My boys were watching at home in Portrush and this is for them.
“We will have a long celebration now and I will be very, very hungover”!
Clarke held his nerve throughout Sunday’s win on a day when only four players finished under par for the tournament.
“It is all a bit of a daze but it is wonderful to have eventually won the Open and a first Major,” said Clarke.
“I just played sensible all the way around and the eagle at seven was great.”
Asked about winning the Open at his 20th attempt – a record – Clarke added:
“I guess I am a little bit different to everyone else but I always believed I could win it.
“I didn’t think my time had come and gone. I always believed I would get myself back up here and I always believed I would challenge and win one and now I have. It is wonderful.”Current US Open champion Rory McIlroy had to settle for a final round 73 and a seven over par title on his first competitive outing after winning at Congressional.
McIlroy even picked up a one shot penalty when his ball moved on the seventh green in a round and a tournament that just couldn’t finish quickly enough for the 22-year-old.
“I’m not a fan of tournaments that the outcome is predicted so much by the weather - it’s not my sort of golf,” said a frank McIlroy afterwards.
“All the amateur tournaments I’ve won were played on links courses but they were all relatively calm. I’m looking forward to getting back to America and getting back into some nice conditions.
“That’s the Open Championship and that’s the way some years go. You either deal with the weather or just wait for a year when it’s nice.
“My game is suited for basically every golf course and most conditions, but these conditions I just don’t enjoy playing in really.
“That’s the bottom line. I’d rather play when it’s 80 degrees and sunny and not much wind.”
Ominously, McIlroy added: “There’s no point in changing your game for one week a year.
“I’m going to spend a few days at home now getting my swing back to where it needs to be. The wind sort of messes it up a little bit.”
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