Clarke + Kent =
Innovation ( 6)
Drilling Down On
Dustin Johnson ( 11)
Went Wrong ( 17)
Darren Clarke is the man of steel ...
nerves. He is the Champion Golfer of the
Year. And, at the moment, he is the King of
All the golf world is his oyster. And if
Ulster were a holster, the 42-year-old
Clarke would be its biggest gun.
He has always commanded a wider
berth than countrymen and fellow major
champions Graeme McDowell and Rory
McIlroy. And if popularity were nuclear
power, you could use a Geiger counter right
now to measure his.
Clarke won the Open Championship by
three shots Sunday at Royal St. George’s in
Kent, not far from the White Cliffs of Dover.
Chalk this one up to grit, determination, ex-
perience and the right amount of
Irish word that roughly translates to “fun.”
Clarke’s closest pursuers, co-runners-
up Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson,
each in their own disturbing way, melted
down late. All of which leaves us to head-
scratchingly ponder, among other things,
these three developments:
w Englishmen Luke Donald and Lee West-
wood, the No. 1- and No. 2-ranked players
in the world, respectively, missed the cut.
w Chubby Chandler, Clarke’s eponymous
agent, has now seen four of his ISM play-
ers win major championships in the last
12 months. And not one of them is named
w Mickelson, who tightened the weave on
the leaderboard Sunday with a front-nine
30, unraveled like a Lisa Pavin rainsuit
coming home and is now 0-39 in major
championships that have the word “Open”
in their title.
Open champion Darren Clarke
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