Darren Clarke has presented his Senior British Open trophy for display at Royal Portrush.
He also handed over his winner’s medal, as well as a special commemorative medal which the R&A awarded to past Open champions to mark the 150th anniversary of the tournament which was staged this year at St Andrews.
Clarke became just the fourth player ever to win the Open and Senior British Open.
Tom Watson, Gary Player and Bob Charles are the three others who managed to win both. They along with Clarke were among 34 past Open champions awarded the R & A’s commemorative medal.
He won at Gleneagles in July with a shot to spare over Padraig Harrington to fulfil an ambition he set himself when he turned 50 four years ago, and which followed his triumph at Royal St George’s in 2011.
Darren joined Portrush as a student member in 1990 and was elected a life member in 1997.
His Senior British Open trophy now sits in a cabinet in the clubhouse entrance hall beside the Claret Jug and all his winning medals, next to the one which Fred Daly, a Portrush man, won at Royal Liverpool in 1947.
Ashley Moore, the club captain, Roma English, Captain of the Ladies’ Branch, Sir. Richard McLaughlin, the Club President, and members of the Club Council hosted a reception where Darren presented them with his new trophy.
Family members, including wife Alison, son Conor and his parents Godfrey and Hetty, also attended the reception in the Club’s Babington Room.
Clarke said: “I’m hugely proud to join such a small club of players to have won both The Open Championship and the Senior British Open.
“Bringing The Senior Open trophy and medal back to Royal Portrush and for them to be there alongside the Claret Jug is very important to me and it was a happy and emotional day.
“I’m incredibly grateful to Royal Portrush and everyone there for everything they have done to help me throughout my career so it’s the natural and only place for them to be, as far as I’m concerned. I’m delighted they’ll be on display there.
“To have the Open Championship back at Royal Portrush in 2019 was huge for me, as it was to everyone connected to the club, and I know that all around the world that anticipation is already there for 2025.”
Sir Richard said Clarke had shown the club enormous generosity by presenting his trophies and medals which are on display in a specially commissioned cabinet. It was a source of great pride to everyone associated with club, he said.
Sir Richard added: “It is the feature most sought out by our visitors from around the world and is photographed endlessly by them. The fact that the Seniors Claret Jug has now been added to the display will cause great excitement and interest to everyone who sees them together.
“Darren’s support has played a central role in the return of The Open to Royal Portrush in 2019 and 2025 and his commitment to the Club is appreciated by all the Members. We wish to express our profound thanks for everything he has done for the club over many years to promote it in all corners of the golfing world.”
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