Darren Clarke’s victory in the Open Championship at the age of 42 was one of the most emotional sporting moments of the year. It was his 20th attempt to win The Open and came at the end of very difficult time for him.
His wife Heather had died the day before his 38th birthday which meant he had to put his golf to one side as he concentrated on looking after his sons. The year 2007 proved to be his least successful and although he did win the BMW Asian Open and KLM Open in 2008, he only managed three top 10 finishes in 2009. In May 2011, Clarke won his first European Tour title since 2008 with a three-stroke victory in the Iberdrola Open, which he followed in July with his Open victory at Royal St George’s. He dedicated his victory to his two sons and his late wife. He said: “In terms of what's going through my heart, there's obviously somebody who is watching from up above and I know she'd be very proud of me. It's been a long journey to get here."