Party continues for Open champion Darren Clarke - Golf - Sport - The Independent

Party continues for Open champion Darren Clarke

Most Open champions wake up the morning after the night before and realise it was not a dream.

But not Darren Clarke. He had not been to bed when he brought the Claret Jug back to Sandwich to pose for more photos and hold a press conference before flying home.



"I've looked at the trophy all night and sort of semi figured out it's mine," said Clarke, looking bleary-eyed and slurring some of his words.



"I probably won't get any sleep until tomorrow at some stage. Have to enjoy it when you can.



"I had quite a few pints and quite a few glasses of red wine and it all continued until about 30 minutes ago.



"It's been a very good night."



Nothing, though, had been poured into the trophy.



"I'm a little bit of a traditionalist. I feel a bit funny about putting stuff in the Claret Jug that shouldn't be in there.



"There's nothing in it as yet. That may not be the case as the week goes by!"



"I have 294 (text) messages and the writing is far too small for me to look at them in this state, so I may look at them tomorrow at some stage and figure them out."



Before the celebrations got into full flow, however, he telephoned his sons Tyrone (12) and Conor (10) in Portrush, where he moved back to recently.



They, of course, lost their mother Heather to breast cancer in 2006 - just six weeks before the Ryder Cup in which he was unbeaten - and Clarke dedicated his first major title to them.



"Tyrone was very pleased, very proud - he said he was going to tell everybody his dad was Open Champion.



"Conor wanted to know what he could spend all the money on.



"So it was a huge difference between the two, but they were both very happy."



Clarke pulled out of an event in Munich to celebrate Rory McIlroy's US Open win next month and arrangements are being made for his own party.



He is also giving another press conference at Portrush tomorrow.



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