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Clarke wins Open; Johnson, Mickelson tie for 2nd

Jul 17, 2011 6:11:00 PM - thestate.com
No matter how long it grows or even how quickly, the list of major champions from the tiny country of Northern Ireland just wouldn't feel complete without Darren Clarke.

He doesn't have the majestic swing of Rory McIlroy or the putting prowess of Graeme McDowell, the last two U.S. Open champions. He hasn't contended in a major for the last 10 years, wasn't even eligible for the last three majors and was no longer among the top 100 in the world.

No matter.

Clarke's three-shot victory in the British Open was met with unending applause Sunday, the loudest saved for the closing ceremony when he was introduced as the champion golfer of the year.

More than that, Clarke is a man of the people.

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