Clarke headed to South Africa

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Darren Clarke will head to the sunny shores of South Africa in March to play in the Africa Open.

The Englishman is still looking for his first win since 2011 where he held off Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson to secure the Claret Jug at the Open Championship.

“Winning again a priority for this year,” quipped the 46-year-old on europeantour.com.

“It’s been nearly four years since I lifted the Claret Jug and I just want to get back in the winner’s circle again.

“South Africa has always been a favourite stop and the Africa Open is very special. The crowds are amazing and very supportive and the course might be short by modern standards, but it’s a true classic.

“I’m really looking forward to return to East London and hopefully I will give the crowds something to cheer about.”

The Africa Open, hosted in East London At the Gary Player designed Fish River Sun Country Club, joined the European Tour in 2010.

Meanwhile, local lad George Coetzee will be looking to earn his second win on the tour following his Joburg Open win in February last year, as well as defend his home turf.

“No foreign player has ever won the Africa Open and I think that sets it apart from all the other Sunshine Tour and European Tour co-sanctioned events,” revealed the South African.

“One look at the trophy and you know you want to put your name on it. The Africa Open always attracts a strong field of local and international players. The crowds are always fantastic, because they are very neutral. They just want to watch some great golf and they cheer for everyone. It’s fun to play in front of galleries like that.”

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