Local golfing hero Clarke receives OBE
BY HAYDEN McFARLAND
DUNGANNON born Darren Clarke received an OBE from the Queen last week for his services to golf and admitted that it was even more “nerve wrecking” meeting the Queen than playing in a major tournament.
“The Open and the Ryder cup were much easier than this”, he said.
Clarke, 44, was included in the Queen’s New Year’s honours list and is one of Northern Ireland’s champion golfers.
In 2006, he produced one of the greatest performances in Ryder cup history just weeks after his first wife Heather died.
The 2011 British Open winner said that Heather would have been “proud” of what he had achieved
“She would have been proud of me but more proud of the kids than me, sitting in there and meeting the Queen”, said Darren.
Clarke’s children, Tyrone and Conor, watched with his second wife Alison as Darren received his OBE from Queen Elizabeth II. Darren was joined by other stars such as popstar Gary Barlow and actress Kate Winslet in getting awards from the Queen.
He says that receiving his OBE was “ right up there” with everything he has achieved in his career which includes being in four Ryder cup winning teams and winning the British Open.
Clarke, a hopeful for the next Captain of the European Ryder cup team, also received the award for his work for charity.
He set up the Darren Clarke foundation in memory of his first wife and aimed for it to help and support young golfers and to help raise money for various cancer charities.
Sporting a deep tan, he joked that he was more “windtanned” than suntanned from travelling around the world to play golf.
He said that it “wasn’t a case of nerves, this was a great honour to meet the Queen.”
“She asked me about the golf and charity things as well.”
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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