Trophy? It’s in the bag, says Clarke

SEOUL: The honeymoon may be over for Darren Clarke but now he wants to win another trophy to take home to his new bride at the Ballantine’s Championship which begins at Blackstone Golf Club today.

And it will not be the end of the world if Clarke doesn’t cap a whirlwind two weeks – which saw him get married in the Bahamas to former Miss Northern Ireland Alison Campbell – with another piece of silverware, because the affable Northern Irishman already has the most famous trophy in golf in his suitcase.

Clarke paraded the famous Claret Jug, which he lifted after triumphing in last year’s British Open, at the tournament gala dinner on Tuesday night, and admits he gets a thrill out of taking the old trophy around the world.

“I must admit that the gala dinner went really well last night,” he said yesterday. “I had the Claret Jug there last night and there were a lot of pictures taken with it and what-have-you. It’s certainly a privilege for me to bring the Claret Jug with me most places where I go.”

However, Clarke admitted that he doesn’t know how his game will go when he tees off for the first time in Korea today alongside local favourite KT Kim and France’s Gregory Havret.

“I don’t know,” he said. “I’ve had a couple of weeks on the beach. I practised a little when I was there and, you know, I’ll be a bit rusty this week, but hopefully I’ll get back into it tomorrow morning.

“It’s been good to have a little break and get married again (Clarke’s first wife Heather was 39 when she died of cancer in August 2006). I feel very lucky. But back to work again now and try to get back into my golf again.

“I’ve not seen the course as I only got in at the early hours of yesterday morning.

“But I’ve heard lots of good things about the course, especially from Lee (Westwood). It’s tough, challenging but very fair. I’m looking forward to getting out and seeing what it is like.” — AFP

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