A Little Less Alcohol
By mustang6560 on 10/21/11
Earlier in the week, British Open champ Darren Clarke played alongside the other three major champions of 2011 (Masters champ Charl Schwartzel, U.S. Open champ Rory McIlroy and PGA champ Keegan Bradley) at the PGA Grand Slam of Golf and his performance was far from the kind of performance you would expect from a major champion.

The Northern Irishman finished 13 strokes behind winner Keegan Bradley (if I didn't know any better, I'd say he should be on the U.S. Presidents Cup team) and nine strokes behind third place finisher Rory McIlroy. After the conclusion of the mid week event, Darren summed up experience and talked about his immediate plans.
“I was scheduled to play at Valderrama next week, but because I’ve decided that Bermuda is such a beautiful place I’m going to stay on,” he said.

“My fiancee and my family is here, so I’m going to have a have a vacation instead of going back home.

“[It's] a shame I played so poorly this week, but I’m here for a good reason and I’m looking forward to a very bad hangover in the morning.”
It's no secret the 43-year-old has struggled to find his way on the golf course since his triumph at Royal St. George's in July. Not counting his fourth place finish (out of four) at the PGA Grand Slam, his best finish since capturing his first major title was 35th at the European Masters. Darren missed the cut in three of his last five starts, and of the two events he managed to play the weekend, one of them did not have a cut (WGC-Bridgestone).

I read an interesting article this morning that said Darren had a chance to reintroduce himself to the world of golf following his British Open win, but instead he's been too busy partying to care. In essence, the author asks the question, at what point does Darren need to talk a little less about him drinking and more about him practicing?
As harmless a development as that seems, there comes a point, particularly in the absence of tournament-winning form, beyond which Clarke’s determined pursuit of the good life threatens to reveal itself as something altogether more sinister: a rhetorical crutch on which to hang a decade’s worth of anxieties and insecurities.

Indeed, since the Open, his machismo– all the skulled pints, the grumbled, hungover interviews– has, through sheer force of repetition, become something feverish, compulsive and, ultimately, insincere.
I'm not going to pretend to know the answer, because frankly, Darren is an adult and only he can decide what he wants his legacy to be. But, from the outside, he seems very content knowing he got the hold the Claret Jug at one point in his golfing career and nobody can ever take that away from him. Some people don't strive to be the best, rather, being one of the best is perfectly satisfactory.

photo by DUP Photos

[ comments ]
dartboss04 says:
i saw his interview with feherty and it seems like he's been through a lot, violence in his country, wife's death, etc...and honestly i don't care if he's hacking it up now...he had a great week, is the open champion, and seems to be a likeable guy...people need to back off a bit...
homermania says:
Yeah, it seems like he's doing what he wants to do and not what everybody else wants. I can see myself doing the same thing if I had the opportunity. Party on, Darren.
bkuehn1952 says:
Some people, once they attain a long sought goal, lose their edge. Darren Clarke may feel that winning the Open put an exclamation point on his career and is ready to take a step away from the game. My assumption has always been that to reach and maintain a PGA Tour level of talent one has to spend an inordinate amount of time practicing and playing. He may just not want to spend his life hitting balls anymore. Good for him. Enjoy yourself Darren.
TeT says:
What BK said, step back and enjoy yourself. That said, I would suggest maybe finding a sober way to enjoy yourself. Its more fun to remember the good time you had and its miserable hanging around a drunk unless you are drunk enough that you dont notice.
jpjeffery says:
It's a British thing.

And it's not one that makes me proud to be British.

Too many Brits seem to think that getting as drunk as fast as possible is the only aim. I'm not prudish about getting drunk (I do it to), but to me it's a side-effect of drinking nice drinks, rather than the target result.

Still, if Darren's happy...and as has been said (by DartBoss), he's been through enough!
Paolo says:
Oh! Darren Clarke's not British... but I get the point.
jpjeffery says:
True, true. But close enough culturally.
mjaber says:
Maybe he should switch to Arnold Palmer- HARD...
[ post comment ]
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