There are a lot of perks that come with being a Major champion and Darren Clarke is certainly enjoying the privilege.
Clarke found a use for his elevated celebrity on the way to the Irish Open when he was pulled over for speeding in his Ferrari. Rumour has it the officer recognised Clarke, posed for a photograph with the jug and Clarke and let him off.
Probably suffering from a pretty serious hangover – Clarke missed the cut at the Irish event. Then he went home to Portrush to go through some of his congratulatory mail.
“There was some very meaningful notes there,” Clarke said. Some were from very influential people, including the British prime minister, Ireland president and golf legends Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus.
“There’s been lots of ‘well dones’ and handshakes and stuff like that,” Clarke said, “but some probably think I’m a fat so-and-so who likes to have a good time, but that’s fine with me.”
“I’m much more relaxed now to go out and play,” he said. “My determination and desire haven’t gone down. If anything, they’ve gone up (because) I’m much more relaxed about the whole thing.”
Clarke will play the first two rounds of the WGC Bridgestone Invitational with his longtime pal Tiger Woods, back from 12 weeks of recovering from leg injuries.
“Hopefully I’m able to give him a little bit of stick and make him laught a bit,” Clarke said.