18 Jul 2011

Darren Clarke wins the Open at 20th attempt

6:33 am on 18 July 2011

42 year old Darren Clarke has become a major golf champion for the first time, winning the British Open championship at Royal St George's at his 20th attempt.

Clarke kept his nerve in some of the worst weather of a rough week on the Kent coast, holding off a dynamic front nine charge by Phil Mickelson, who went out in 30, to cruise to a 3-stroke victory over the left-hander and fellow American Dustin Johnson, with Denmark's Thomas Bjorn finishing fourth.

Clarke becomes the third Northern Irishman to win a major in just over a year, following the US Open and Masters wins of Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy.