Date: July 18, 2011

Fabulous Clarke wins first Open Championship

Northern Ireland&aposs Darren Clarke produced a sure-handed final round to win The Open Championship by three strokes at Royal St George&aposs Golf Club in Sandwich, Kent. The Ulsterman had to contend with an early charge from Phil Mickelson who played the front nine in 30 strokes and looked like his Open Championship drought was coming to a close. But Clarke, competing in The Open Championship for the 20th time, recorded rounds of 68-68-69-70 (-5) to hold off Mickelson and Dustin Johnson at 2-under par. At the age of 42, Clarke said the win fufilled a childhood dream. To sit here with this trophy means the world to me, he said. I ve dreamt since I was a kid that one day I would do this and, now I have, I can t really believe it. Clarke, at the age of 42 years and 337 days, becomes the oldest player to win The Open Championship since Roberto de Vicenzo, who was 44 years and 93 days old when he won the title at Hoylake in 1967. The popular Dungannon man also becomes the oldest player to win any Major since Ben Crenshaw claimed the 1995 Masters at the age of 43 years and 88 days, not to mention the twelfth different Major winner in succession, since Padraig Harrington claimed his second successive Major at the PGA Championship back in 2008. It feels incredible to tell you the truth, he added. I went out there to do my best. That s what I did and on this occasion my best was good enough.