Darren Clarke Wins The 2011 British Open; American Winless Streak Continues
Darren Clarke became the latest Northern Irishman to win an Open Championship when he captured the British Open on Sunday. The 42 year old veteran held off charges by Americans Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson to earn his first major championship.
(42 year old Darren Clark won the 140th British Open. Photo: Fox News)
The 140th Open Championship was Clarke's 20th attempt to win the Claret Jug and his most unlikely. No player had played more than 15 Open Championships before winning. The win is the 3rd major championship for Northern Ireland in the last two years, Graeme McDowell won the 2010 U.S. Open and Rory McIlroy won the 2011 U.S. Open just a few weeks ago.
The key to Clarke's success on Sunday was consistency. In a day filled with inconsistent weather and play from the rest of the field, Clarke made nine consecutive pars to maintain a the lead. Early charges from Sergio Garcia and Phil Mickelson faltered later in the round while Dustin Johnson, who entered Sunday in second place, never seemed to get it going. With the tournament in hand, Clarke made bogies on 17 and 18 to safely claim the Claret Jug at 5-under. Mickelson and Johnson both finished the tournament at 2-under.
United States Major Draught Continues
A strong showing at the 140th Open Championship wasn't enough to earn the United States its first major since April of 2010. Six Americans finished inside the top 10 this week, most notably Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson who finished in a tie for second. Chad Campbell, Anthony Kim, Rickie Fowler and Davis Love III rounded out the Americans in the top 10.
The streak without a major (six) is the longest in United States history since the four major format began in 1934. If an American can not win the PGA Championship in August, it will be the first time no American wins a major during a calendar year since 1994. That streak was stopped at four when Ben Crenshaw won the 1995 Masters.
The PGA TOUR heads to Vancouver, Canada for the RBC Canadian Open. Carl Pettersson is the defending champion.