Darren Clarke Wins Open Championship
    2011-07-18 09:21:15     CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Paul
Popular Northern Irishman takes maiden Major victory with three-shot win over American duo.

World number 111 Darren Clarke secures a hugely popular win at The Open Championship.

by CRI Sports' Paul Ryding

Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke won the Open Championship at Royal St George's in Sandwich yesterday.

The veteran sealed a three-shot win over Americans Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson to take his first Major title.

It was an emotional victory for the world number 111 - who will leap to 30th after this win - and comes at his 20th attempt. Clarke had previously finished second and third at the Open.

The Northern Irishman is the first UK winner of the tournament since Paul Lawrie won in 1999, and he becomes the oldest winner of the Open Championship since Roberto Di Vicenzo in 1967.

Clarke adds the Open Championship title to his May victory at the Iberdrola Open win, which was his first for almost three years.

A hugely popular figure in the game, Clarke was roared on by a huge crowd throughout his final round on Sunday.

"I can't thank you enough for the support I've had this past four days," said the Open champion. "The roaring has helped me to stand here and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart."

The win also marks a third Major title in 13 months for Northern Ireland. The tiny nation of 1.8-million adding the Open Championship to its two US Open victories for Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy.

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