Darren Clarke has been named The 2011 Race to Dubai European Tour Golfer of the Month for July following his unforgettable victory in The 140th Open Championship.
The 42 year old Northern Irishman produced a links golf masterclass at Royal St George’s in Kent to win the first Major Championship of his career by three shots from the American duo of Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson.
Clarke, who receives an engraved alms dish and a jeroboam of Moët & Chandon champagne in honour of his achievement, catapulted back into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking and amongst the game’s elite after his overwhelmingly popular win at Sandwich.
“What a very nice way to end the best month of my career,” said Clarke. “It’s always good to win a Golfer of the Month award, but this one is special because I won it on the back of winning The Open. Any award I get on the back of winning the Claret Jug will always be gratefully received!”
The nature of Clarke’s first Major success made him the only realistic winner of The Race to Dubai Golfer of the Month Award for July, the first time the Northern Irishman had won the monthly award since 2003, following his triumph at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
However, the judging panel – which comprised members of the Association of Golf Writers, as well as commentators from radio and television –also acknowledged the outstanding performances of several other European Tour Members.
The other notable achievers in July were home winners Thomas Levet and Alex Noren after their superb respective victories in the Alstom Open de France and Nordea Masters, World Number One Luke Donald for his Barclays Scottish Open success and Donald’s fellow Englishman Simon Dyson after his Irish Open presented by Discover Ireland triumph last weekend.
Clarke joins an illustrious list of Race to Dubai Golfer of the Month winners in 2011, following Martin Kaymer (January), Donald (February and May), Paul Lawrie (March), Charl Schwartzel (April) and Rory McIlroy (June).
Clarke will now join his fellow award winners to be considered for The 2011 Race to Dubai European Tour Golfer of the Year Award, which was won jointly by Graeme McDowell and Kaymer in 2010.