Happy home life behind Darren Clarke’s renaissance

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Clarke’s return to Portrush has not only allowed him to be nearer his close friends and family. It’s also given him the opportunity to practice regularly on a links course and in links weather.

While his sister, Andrea, looks after his two boys, Clarke has been working hard on his game at Royal Portrush, the venue of the 1951 British Open.

The target has been a climb back up the rankings from his position at No. 111. And, of course, an elusive major.

“He’s been practicing hard, very hard at Royal Portrush, where the weather is similar to what it’s been here,” Godfrey Clarke said. “He’s not been getting the results. And now it’s all paid off.

“The links was always his type of golf course. Everyone wants this one, the Open. We are totally delighted after everything he’s been through.”

Both Chandler and Clarke’s father said there was never any doubt their man was going to finish the job off Sunday, despite holding just a one-shot lead against big-hitting American Dustin Johnson.

On Saturday night, Clarke and family went to Chandler’s place, where the five-time Ryder Cup player enjoyed a chicken curry, a couple of glasses of red wine and two beers.

A diet of champions.

“He was so relaxed. He’s been the same every day,” Chandler said.

Adding to Clarke’s calm this week were regular meetings with renowned sports psychologist Bob Rotella and another guru, Mike Finnigan. Rotella was chatting with Clarke on the practice putting green minutes before the Northern Irishman headed out for his final round.

“They’ve put him a bit more on an even keel,” Chandler said. “Their catch phrase has been, ‘Go out and prove everyone wrong.’”

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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