No one had taken more than 16 appearances to win The Open until Darren Clarke triumphed at Royal St George’s on his 20th.
It was a long wait for man who grew up playing links golf, but he had recently moved back to Northern Ireland and had spent the previous winter playing Royal Portrush in all weathers.
This turned out to be valuable preparation for an Open played on the Kent coast in largely cool, wet and windy conditions.
Clarke put on an exhibition of links golf while battling the elements to win by three strokes from Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson.
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