MX23RW : Sunday, August 18 05:13:25| >> :600:2667213:2667213:

The Open is under way - and Darren Clarke feels right at home

The Open is under way - and Darren Clarke feels right at home
© Reuters
The 2011 winner gets a birdie at the first.

Former Open champion Darren Clarke relived former glories in front of an adoring home crowd after taking an early lead in the 148th championship.

The 2011 winner, given the honour of hitting the opening tee shot at 6.35am at Royal Portrush, holed a 15-foot birdie putt at the first.

Unfortunately the Northern Irishman could not take advantage of the par-five second after finding a bunker off the tee but remained top of the fledgling leaderboard on one under.

The Open Championship 2019 – Day One – Royal Portrush Golf Club
Darren Clarke celebrates his birdies on the first green

He was joined there by playing partner James Sugrue, the Amateur Championship winner from Ireland, who left his eagle attempt at the second just short.

With early-morning sunshine piercing the cloudy skies Clarke, who owns a house overlooking the course, was welcomed on the first tee to huge cheers

The 50-year-old has missed the cut in three of the last four years but, after sharing a few words with victorious Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn, he got off to a confidence-boosting start by finding the fairway in breezy conditions.

More cheers accompanied his departure from the tee box with Clarke relaxed enough to stop to briefly chat to fellow former Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley who was broadcasting live close by.

body check tags ::

Click here for more stories about Darren Clarke

Share this article now:
Sports Mole Instagram banner
Rory McIlroy watches his shot from the 13th tee during the first round of the 2019 U.S. Open golf tournament at Pebble Beach Golf Links on June 13, 2019
Read Next:
Royal Portrush ready for Open glory after 68-year wait
>

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Click here to log in with Facebook and add your favourite team's news and scores to this panel

6

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
/esi/758/0/index.html - esi:0:site:0:-p-: {0}: - :T758:-: {0}: < ! - - T  758 {0} - - >  : 
Premier League
Championship
La Liga
Bundesliga
Ligue 1
Eredivisie
Primeira Liga
Scottish League Cup
Coppa Italia
League One
League Two
National League
Scottish League One
Scottish League Two
Belgian Pro League
Turkish Super Lig
Russian Premier League
Ukrainian Premier League
Norwegian Eliteserien
Swedish Allsvenskan
Segunda Division
Ligue 2
2.Bundesliga
Brasileiro
Argentine Primera Division
Major League Soccer
Liga MX
Uruguayan Primera Division
NIFL Premiership
Welsh Premier League
Premier League 2 - Div 2
Autumn Internationals
Super League

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account