Darren Clarke secured victory at Gleneagles to join an illustrious list of names to win both The Open Championship and The Senior Open Presented by Rolex.
The Northern Irishman left it late as he birdied the last for a one under par round of 69 to win on ten under par, one stroke clear of Pádraig Harrington, after heavy rain had caused a two-hour delay with Clarke still having five holes to play.
The 53-year-old becomes the fourth man to win both The Open and The Senior Open, placing his name alongside greats of the game Bob Charles, Gary Player and Tom Watson, and he led from the front despite the weather attempting to hamper his progress.
The 2011 Champion Golfer of the Year carded nine consecutive pars before dropping his only shot of the day at the par five tenth, however he bounced back with a birdie at the 12th to remain the man to catch.
The pars continued to roll either side of the rain delay, before his approach into the par five 18th came up just short of the green, leaving him with an up-and-down for victory. The 14-time DP World Tour winner opted for the putter and rolled an excellent effort to two feet, enabling him to tap in for a memorable victory.
Harrington’s three under par round of 67 was enough to secure his third runner-up finish in Senior Major Championships of the season, in addition to his U.S. Senior Open triumph, while six players shared third place on eight under par, including third round co-leader Paul Broadhurst and four-time Major winner Ernie Els.
Darren Clarke: “I’ve made no secret of the fact that I wanted to win this more than anything. From when I turned 50, this is the one you wanted to win, so I could set it beside the other one. Pretty good feeling right now.
“Very privileged to get my name on The Open trophy and the Claret Jug, and now to get my name on this one as well and go beside some legends of the game. I feel very humbled and very honoured.
“Not that many people have done it before. And last week, I was very fortunate to spend a little bit of time with my old coach, Pete Cowen, as well on the range at St Andrews.
“Last week didn’t quite go so well. He was trying to get me to do a couple of things and didn’t quite work in. You know, he helped me win the main Open, as well as Ewan, and he’s helped me win this one, too. He just got me with a more simple swing thought and I was able to get out of my own way and I was able to do it. To join that illustrious company is very special.
“This [the trophy] doesn’t hold as much (laughter) but I’ll have a few celebratory drinks tonight. As I said, to win the tournament I always wanted to win, The Open Championship, and then to win this one as a senior, this is the one I wanted to win more than anything. I feel.
“Very fortunate to have been able to have done it. Fulfilling your dreams is a very lucky thing, and I’ve been able to do it a few times in my career.”