Clarke’s life on the up and up

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Darren Clarke’s golf career appears on the up again – and so does his personal life away from the course.

Darren Clarke’s golf career appears on the up again – and so does his personal life away from the course.
The 40-year-old Northern Irishman, who will resume the Barclays Scottish Open at Loch Lomond this Friday morning with a one-shot lead, will never be forgotten for his amazing performance at the 2006 Ryder Cup.
Clarke helped Europe retain the trophy little more than a month after his wife Heather died from breast cancer, but then turned his full attention to raising his two young sons.
Now he has a new partner and is soon to move back to his home country from Surrey.
“Everything off the course is going very well for me,” he said after his opening 65.
“I’m just moving on with my life in a direction which I can’t wait to keep going. I have a wonderful girlfriend and off the course I can’t really ask for more.”
As for his golf, he beat Tiger Woods and a host of other big names in the JP McManus Pro-am at Adare Manor in west Ireland on Tuesday and he has a chance this weekend not only to win his first European Tour event for two years, but also grab a place in next week’s Open at St Andrews.
The leading non-exempt player at Loch Lomond qualifies, but has to finish in the top five to claim it.
“I’ve been on Tour for a long time,” Clarke added. “This is the first round and there’s an awful long way to go, but of course I would love to qualify.”
Going into the second day he was a stroke ahead of England’s Graeme Storm, Ireland’s Damien McGrane and Italian Edoardo Molinari, while both compatriot Graeme McDowell and Phil Mickelson were six back.

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