- Full name Darren Clarke
- Birth date August 14, 1968
- Birth place Dungannon, Northern Ireland
- Current age 44 years 278 days
For nearly two decades one of the most popular men in golf, Darren Clarke elevated his reputation as a player with a defining victory in the Open Championship at Royal St George's in 2011.
Aged 42 and considered by most to have peaked as a golfer, Clarke led the tournament at the half-way stage and proceeded to show no nerves over the final two rounds, holding off late charges from Americans Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson to win by three shots.
Prior to that, the Northern Irishman was arguably best known for his Ryder Cup exploits. Making his debut in 1997 at Valderrama and going on to play in four further events, he has never been on the losing side.
The most emotional appearance came at The K Club in 2006, when Clarke - just three weeks after the death of his wife, Heather, from breast cancer - played a key role in horribly difficult circumstances as Ian Woosnam's side romped to victory.
He has become an intrinsic part of the European team's non-playing staff since, working closely with Jose Maria Olazabal as a vice captain during the victory at Medinah in 2012, and is nailed on to be a Ryder Cup captain in the not-too distant future.
His individual career had its own successes - with a victory in the 2000 WGC World Match Play against Tiger Woods (with world No. 2 David Duval beaten in the semi-final) a pertinent reminder of his undoubted natural talent.
With 14 European Tour wins to his name between 1993 and 2011, Clarke is one of the most successful golfers Europe has ever seen.
Career high: Clinching a memorable victory in the 2011 Open Championship supplants previous memories of Clarke as a linchpin of European Ryder Cup successes.
Career low: Outside of his personal difficulties, arguably losing the 1997 Open Championship to Justin Leonard was Clarke's bitterest experience. A shanked three-iron down the stretch saw a great chance to claim the Claret Jug fade to nothing.
Quote: "I guess I'm a bit of a normal bloke, aren't I really? I like to have a pint, go to the pub and be normal. There are not many airs and graces about me. I'm just a normal guy playing golf, having a bit of fun."
Trivia: Unlike compatriots Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell (both Manchester United), Clarke is a Liverpool fan.
- Darren Clarke withdraws from Masters (Apr 8, 2013)
- Clarke and McDowell commit to Irish Open (Feb 26, 2013)
- Clarke skips Dubai after car crash (Jan 29, 2013)
- Clarke rules himself out of Ryder Cup race (Jan 15, 2013)
Clarke admits Ryder Cup dilemma (Jan 10, 2013)