Darren Clarke Makes History At The Senior Open Championship

Clarke becomes just the fourth player to ever claim both The Open and Senior Open Championships, with a birdie at the last good enough for a one shot victory

Clarke chats with a caddy whilst playing at Gleneagles
(Image credit: Getty Images)

In a weather-hit final day at Gleneagles it was Darren Clarke who added yet another title to his CV, with a birdie at the 72nd hole giving him a one shot win over three time Major winner, Padraig Harrington.

The final round in Scotland had been hit by Mother Nature, as the weather reeked havoc throughout the day. However, despite a delay on the back nine, Clarke maintained his concentration, holing a number of crucial putts before a stunning two putt birdie at the last gave him the title.

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Beginning the final round as the overnight leader, Clarke maintained his consistent tee-to-green performance, as he found the fairways and greens with ease over Gleneagle's layout.

Nine pars to open his front nine, Clarke made a scrappy bogey at the easy par 5 10th, but a birdie at the 12th maintained his advantage as the weather rolled in. After a sizeable break, play got underway at 8pm, as the 53-year-old made a par to start the final few holes.

Clarke's nearest opponent was soon his fellow Ryder Cup teammate, Padraig Harrington, whose six-under-par back nine catapulted him up the leaderboard and set a clubhouse target of nine-under-par.

Harrington holds his putter

Harrington had been three-over after nine, before six birdies on the back vaulted him to second

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Sharing the lead with Harrington playing the last, Clarke found the fringe with his second shot, as a two-putt would guarantee the title and a slice of history, becoming the fourth player to win both The Open and Senior Open Championships alongside Bob Charles, Gary Player & Tom Watson..

Bashing his putt from well over 60-feet, it nestled just a foot away from the flag and, after tapping in, the trophy was Clarke's, as he secured his fourth PGA Champions Tour win.

Matt Cradock
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.

Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.

Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x