Chandler: Darren almost quit in April

Darren Clarke’s agent Andrew ‘Chubby’ Chandler has disclosed that the new Open champion almost quit golf in April.

Darren Clarke’s agent Andrew ‘Chubby’ Chandler has disclosed that the 42-year-old Northern Ireland veteran almost quit golf just months before his stunning success at The Open.

Clarke secured his first major title at the 140th Open at Sandwich on Sunday after holding off the challenge of Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson.

The celebrations that followed were, however, a far cry from Clarke’s state of mind in April – with Chandler saying the Ryder Cup star had contemplated walking away from golf after a poor run of form culminated in a round of 81 in Morocco.

Chandler, who also handles the business affairs of three other recent major winners, Rory McIlroy, Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel, said he convinced Clarke to instead take a short break from the game – advice that has proved spot on as he returned to win in Mallorca before his Open triumph.

“He was so low he thought about giving it up,” Chandler told The Guardian.

“It was the lowest I have ever seen him. He wasn’t hitting the ball like he used to in Morocco, so I told him to take extra holiday.

“He went away for three weeks and came back refreshed.”

Refreshed? After his recent heroics at Royal St George’s it might be more apt to say super-charged.