The Ulsterman loves a pint and a smoke — but stresses he works tirelessly on his game.
“I have always worked very hard. There’s not many players work as hard as I do.
“I like to enjoy myself, too, but in terms of putting the hours in on the range, I do more than people think,” he said.
“You don’t get anywhere — in anything — unless you put the hours in and work at it.
“This game gives you back maybe five per cent of what you put in. So that means you have to put an awful lot in.”
Clarke will always be remembered for his Ryder Cup heroics at the K Club near Dublin in 2006, helping Europe to victory over America just after the death of his wife Heather.
“The hardest thing I’ll ever have to face in golf was the first tee at the K Club in 2006,” he stated.
“The pressure and intensity of that Ryder Cup is beyond anything I will ever experience again.
“Maybe that’s why I coped so well last weekend,” said Clarke, adding that the support received over the years from his family helped make his Open dream come true.
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