Open Medal Displayed In Royal Portrush Club

NI's latest golfing hero, Darren Clarke has presented his winning Open championship medal to his 'home club' at Royal Portrush.

He gave it to Club Captain Philip Tweedie at a special homecoming ceremony on today as almost 1,000 people crowded outside the clubhouse for Clarke's arrival at his home course.

He was happy to hand over the medal as the course is where he practised before triumphing at Royal St George's, Sandwich, Kent on Sunday, clinching his maiden major title with a three-shot victory in the Open.

The 42-year-old shot a final-round 70 to finish five under to hold off Americans Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson.

Clarke, playing in his 20th Open Championship, is the first winner from the UK since Paul Lawrie in 1999 and becomes only the second Northern Ireland golfer to win the Open after Fred Daly in 1947.

The victory medal will now go on display in a cabinet, which already holds the one won by Daly, who was also a member of Royal Portrush.

Clarke told members the medal would only have ended up in a drawer in his house if he had kept it.

"One of the perks for winning the Open is they give you a gold medal and for those of you who haven't been here before there's a couple of cabinets when you are coming up the stairs and in one of them is Fred Daly's gold medal from 1947 - I want this one to go beside it," he told BBC NI.

Last month, Holywood-based Rory McIlroy won the US Open Championship, a year after his fellow NI golfer, Graham McDowell - who is also a member of Royal Portrush - took the top accolade for Northern Ireland.


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