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'If Clarke had Padraig's head he'd have been world number one' | Golf Weekly

Finishing 2011 as the British Open champion, Darren Clarke may not have expected to wait nine yea...



Golf

'If Clarke had Padraig's head he'd have been world number one' | Golf Weekly


Finishing 2011 as the British Open champion, Darren Clarke may not have expected to wait nine years for his next tournament win. 

But that was the reality as the Northern Irish golfer finally ended a long drought at the TimberTech Championship in Florida last weekend.

With a new caddy, Sandy Armour, on the bag, the 52-year-old held off competition from Bernhard Langer and Jim Furyk to win the PGA Champions Tour event on 17-under par.

It was only fair then that Clarke, with a cheque for $300,000 in prize money from the event, was high on the agenda for discussion on this week's Golf Weekly, where Peter Lawrie discussed the abundance of natural ability that the former Open champion possessed.

"He is exceptionally talented – exceptionally talented," Lawrie exclaimed after Joe Molloy suggested that Clarke's game can be volatile.

"He goes through peaks and troughs in his game but he's an exceptionally good ball-striker, he works pretty hard at it.

"He's more technical than he looks with the swing that he has, it looks very simple but he is far more technically minded than that and I think he just gets a little bit stuck in that."

Acknowledging that Clarke played some of his best golf under the coaching of Pete Cowen, Lawrie added that Clarke's individual talent could have been worthy of a world number one spot.

"I think if he had Harrington's head and his [own] golf game, he would have been number one in the world," Lawrie told the podcast.

Clarke's Flash Lifestyle

In response, Nathan Murphy queried whether people were wrong to think Clarke's "flash" lifestyle off the course meant he didn't work hard enough to reach that full potential.

"No, no. He was definitely on the range, he worked very hard on the range," Lawrie recalled.

"Very hard. Nearly probably too much so, but you are right he did like flash things and he bought himself many, many flash things."

"I remember being in Wentworth one year," Lawrie recalled, "and he arrived in one of these three wheel motorbikes with a sidecar on the side of it – they were the rage in the early 2000s.

"Then he had his Ferraris and Porsches and whatever. Let's put it this way, he knew how to spend money."

While the prize money won't go to waste then, Clarke will hope that last weekend was just the first of many wins this decade.

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Darren Clarke Golf Weekly Padraig Harrington Peter Lawrie The Champions Tour