Not many golfers were able to navigate through the elements over the weekend at Royal St. George’s in Sandwich, England. Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke did as he captured his first career Major finishing the tournament 5-under par.
Only seven of seventy-one golfers who made the cut finished even par or better after thirty-one entered the weekend in that category. Dustin Johnson and Phil Micklelson each collapsed down the stretch to finish 2-under after giving Clarke a challenge on Sunday.
Mickelson started his final round even-par and caught fire early. At one-point he shared the lead with Clarke at 5-under par and was as low as 6-under before missing a few putts and finding a couple of bunkers on the back nine. Dustin Johnson’s 2nd shot at the par-5 14th was out-of-bounds leading to a double-bogey shutting the door on his chances.
Madison’s Steve Stricker was consistent. He navigated the par-70 course at 69-71-72-71 to end 3-over par in a tie for 12th. A final round 79 for Mark Wilson dropped him down to 16-over for the tournament and a tie for 63rd.
Clarke became the third golfer from Northern Ireland to win a Major in the past two seasons. At 42 years-old, Clarke also became the oldest to win a Major in 7-years.
The final Major of the year is the PGA Championship which takes place next month in Atlanta.