The 2011 Champion Golfer of the Year, Darren Clarke, will make his Senior Open Presented by Rolex debut later this year after confirming he will tee it up at Royal Lytham & St Annes from July 25-28.

The Northern Irishman turned 50 last year, less than two weeks after the 32nd edition of Europe’s only Senior Major Championship and is now relishing a return to links golf on the over-50s circuit.

Clarke’s emotionally-charged success at The 2011 Open Championship captivated the sporting world as he dedicated his victory to his late wife, Heather, after securing The Claret Jug by a margin of three strokes from Phil Mickelson at Royal St George’s Golf Club. Indeed, it was Clarke’s first top ten in a Major Championship since he finished tied third at The Open in 2001 on the links of Royal Lytham & St Annes – Clarke shared third place with this year’s defending Senior Open champion Miguel Angel Jiménez and fellow former Ryder Cup Captains Bernhard Langer and Ian Woosnam.

“I’m looking forward to getting back to Royal Lytham. It’s a very fair golf course and I went close there in 2001,” said Clarke.

“I remember being one behind on 17 and went with driver when I shouldn’t have. It cost me that time but I have great memories there and I like the course.”

The last three Senior Open champions have all hailed from Europe, with Paul Broadhurst winning at Carnoustie Golf Links in 2016, Langer at Royal Porthcawl Golf Club in 2017 and Jiménez in the first Senior Open at St Andrews last year, and Clarke hopes to see the trophy remain in European hands.

“It’s very special for us to have the opportunity to compete on these fantastic golf courses.” said Clarke.

“Over the last few years, Miguel, Bernhard and Paul have played some superb golf to win the Senior Open Trophy and the number of guys who travel from around the world to play just shows how important The Senior Open is on our calendars.

“These are the guys who I grew up playing golf with and against. That hunger to compete doesn’t leave you and I’ve really been enjoying playing as a senior, getting used to it, and I’m excited about my first Senior Open.”

Clarke will be bidding to join an elite group of golfers who have won both The Claret Jug and the Senior Open Trophy - Bob Charles, Gary Player and Tom Watson.

“I would love to give myself an opportunity to win the Championship and follow in their footsteps,” added Clarke.

The 50-year-old will be one of a host of former Major Champions, Ryder Cup Captains and European Tour winners competing at Royal Lytham & St Annes later this year.
He will join fellow former Ryder Cup Captains Bernhard Langer, Paul McGinley Colin Montgomerie and Ian Woosnam in the field, as well as defending champion Miguel Angel Jiménez, whom Clarke partnered at The 2004 Ryder Cup in a 5&4 victory over Chad Campbell and Davis Love III in the Friday fourballs.

Tickets start from £13.50 and are available here. Hospitality options in The Lehman Lounge are also available here. Entry for Under-16s and parking are free.
About The Senior Open Presented by Rolex
The Senior Open Presented by Rolex will return to Royal Lytham & St Annes for the first time since 1994 when the 33rd edition of the Championship is staged from July 25-28 2019.
Royal Lytham & St Annes hosted The Senior Open for four consecutive years from 1991-1994. Bobby Verwey, John Fourie, Bob Charles and Tom Wargo were the winners of Europe’s only Senior Major Championship on the Lancashire links during this time. Royal Lytham & St Annes has hosted The Open on 11 occasions and hosted the Ricoh Women’s British Open in 2018.
Miguel Ángel Jiménez became the third consecutive European winner of The Senior Open after his one stroke victory over defending champion Bernhard Langer on the Old Course at St Andrews in 2018. Paul Broadhurst started the run of European victories at Carnoustie in 2016.
In 2017, Langer became the first golfer in history to win ten Senior Major Championships, as he joined Gary Player and Tom Watson as the only three-time winners of the Senior Open Trophy with his victory at Royal Porthcawl Golf Club in Wales.
The Senior Open was introduced in 1987 at Turnberry in Ayrshire when Neil Coles, the former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the PGA European Tour, won the inaugural title. This led, two years later, to the formal inception of the European Senior Tour. In 2018, the Senior Tour was rebranded with Staysure becoming the first title sponsor of what is now known as the Staysure Tour.

Rolex and Golf
Rolex supports the most prestigious events, players and organizations in golf and encourages the development of the game worldwide also through its involvement at all levels, including amateur and junior golf. The brand is a key presence at men’s and women’s Majors, and at the leading team events, The Ryder Cup, the Solheim Cup and the Presidents Cup. Its contribution to excellence in the sport is based on a rich heritage stretching back more than 50 years, starting in 1967 with Arnold Palmer, joined by fellow members of The Big Three, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, legendary players who were instrumental in popularizing the game globally. Throughout this enduring partnership, Rolex has championed both innovation and respect for the traditions and spirit of the ancient game.

About Rolex
An unrivalled reputation for quality and expertise
Rolex, a Swiss watch manufacture headquartered in Geneva, is recognized the world over for its expertise and the quality of its products. Its Oyster Perpetual and Cellini watches, all certified as Superlative Chronometers for their precision, performance and reliability, are symbols of excellence, elegance and prestige. The word “Perpetual” is inscribed on every Rolex Oyster. But more than just a word on a dial, it is a philosophy that embodies the company’s vision and values. Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of the company, instilled a notion of perpetual excellence that would drive the company forward. This led Rolex to pioneer the development of the wristwatch and numerous major watchmaking innovations, such as the Oyster, the first waterproof wristwatch, launched in 1926, and the Perpetual rotor self-winding mechanism, invented in 1931. Rolex has registered over 500 patents in the course of its history. A truly integrated and independent manufacturing company, Rolex designs, develops and produces in-house the essential components of its watches, from the casting of the gold alloys to the machining, crafting, assembly and finishing of the movement, case, dial and bracelet. Furthermore, Rolex is actively involved in supporting the arts and culture, sport and exploration, as well as those who are devising solutions to preserve the planet.




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