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Clarke heads for McIlroy party

Darren Clarke has withdrawn from this week's European Tour event in Munich because he wants to be in Northern Ireland for Rory McIlroy's homecoming party.

Stablemate and compatriot Clarke sent messages of encouragement to the 22-year-old as he tried for his first major title, including one before the final round saying: "Show them how good you are."

The 42-year-old, who won his 13th Tour title in Majorca last month, did not qualify for the US Open, but will compete at next month's Open at Sandwich through his 30th place on last year's money list.

The closest he came to major glory himself was finishing second at Royal Troon in 1997, three strokes behind American Justin Leonard.

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