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Golf: Darren Clarke’s Cigar Experience

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Stan Sutherland
Stan Sutherland
Darren Clarke

Darren Clarke’s recent win at The Open Championship has increased his popularity in the United States.

Interviewed by Paul Mahoney and asked, “Do you realise how popular your Open victory was?” Darren replied, “The anti-athletic poster boy, oh yes. I'm not your stereotypical golf athlete rolling off the production line. I'm a bit different. So people identify with me, and that's great—the reception I've had has been wonderful.”

Commenting on his rapport with Americans, Darren said, “Americans have always been very kind to me. They even throw me cigars.”
Darren is usually very discreet about his smoking habits. A nervous, quick puff of a cigarette as he strode to victory at Royal St Georges a reminder that he also enjoys a cigar. Especially when celebrating the Europeans winning the Ryder Cup. And no doubt this latter image has over the years, captured the attention of cigar-loving Americans.

Fans can be funny people but not when they shout, “You da man!” And as for throwing tokens of appreciation and good luck to golfers, it brings to mind of a funny thing that happened on the way to Jack Nicklaus losing the epic “Duel in the Sun”.

Steve Elling’s article dated July 13, 2009 reminds us.
 ‘Thirty-two years ago, locked in the most memorable two-man shootout in major-championship history, Nicklaus shoved his tee shot on the final hole of the British Open into the deep stuff at Turnberry, nearly into a huge patch of prickly gorse.

In the parlance of the superstitious Scots, who were trying to will the greatest player in the game to another victory, dozens tossed a few shillings, bob, quid and pence into the grassy area where Nicklaus had struck the following shot. Unbeknownst to him, fans threw silver to help the Golden Bear.
"The funny thing, people came and told me about it afterward, was, it's a Scottish custom for good luck where they throw coins," Nicklaus said. "They said there was a whole pile of coins under that bush where people had walked by and were wishing me good luck."

In my experience, Americans are very generous people but I’ve never had allegedly tight-fisted fellow Scots throwing their silver at me. But there again I’m not Jack Nicklaus and most certainly not capable of playing his shot from a “huge patch of prickly gorse.”

Was it worth the money to throw it away in appreciation of a single shot? You’d better believe it. And even better, go see it for yourself at this link.

Here’s the link to Paul and to Steve

Quote of the Day
 “One of the most powerful animalistic golf shots I’ve ever seen.” – Peter Allis TV commentator describing Jack’s shot

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