Clarke all set for a big 2012

Published Wednesday, 11 January 2012
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2012 could be a very big year for Darren Clarke with the Irish Open set to be held at his home club of Royal Portrush and a spot on the Ryder Cup to aim for.

But it will take something massive to improve on his exploits in 2011 when he was crowned the Open champion at Royal St Georges last July.

Last week it was confirmed that the Irish Open would return to Royal Portrush for the first time in nearly 60 years and Darren Clarke will act as an ambassador for the tournament.

His manager and friend Andrew 'Chubby' Chandler is backing him to have another huge year.

He said: "Darren's now got winning the Open out of the way and January is the start of the golfing year."

"He's got a new physical trainer, much different to anything he's had before. He's ready to get his head down again, but he's always worked hard."

Chandler said that following the historic title last summer it was no surprise there was a dip in Darren's performance.

He said: "After he won the Open and the euphoria around that win, there was a huge lift in his spirits - there was always going to be a backlash."

"Alright, he partied and celebrated but when you've worked for 21 years for something you are allowed to celebrate."

"But he's drawn a line under it and I think he's going to have a really good year," he said.

© UTV News
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