Sport Golf

Monday 1 September 2014

Omens looking good for McIlroy as he settles old 'score' with Clarke

Karl MacGinty

Published 17/07/2014 | 02:30

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Rory McIlroy kisses a £20 note in celebration of winning a bet against Darren Clarke after their practice round at Hoylake. Photo: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images
Rory McIlroy kisses a £20 note in celebration of winning a bet against Darren Clarke after their practice round at Hoylake. Photo: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

The crisp £20 note Rory McIlroy won from Darren Clarke here yesterday could turn into a whopping £975,000 (€1.23m) jackpot come Sunday.

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A delighted McIlroy struck the perfect note for his victory bid at The Open Championship this weekend by taking the cash off 2011 Open champion Clarke after their final pre-tournament practice round.

As the 25-year-old gleefully brandished his winnings on the 18th green, he clearly knew the omens were good for his prospects of hoisting the Claret Jug on the same green in four days' time.

"I've beaten an Open champion," McIlroy beamed. "We did this in 2011 at Royal St George's and obviously it worked out pretty well for one of us, so you never know.

"Hopefully, we both will have a good week," added the Holywood native, whose hopes of winning a third Major title on Sunday received an even bigger boost as rain poured on the golf links at Royal Liverpool, with more forecast.

"It's not the money," joked Clarke, forced to watch as McIlroy posed jubilantly for pictures. "It's giving a youngster with so much in the bank £20 of my hard-earned cash."

Three years ago in Sandwich, McIlroy was the talk of the golfing world after his record-breaking first Major win at Congressional ... but Clarke took his money and then his first Major title the following Sunday.

Ireland is represented by its strongest-ever team at Hoylake, with McIlroy and Clarke being joined by Graeme McDowell, Padraig harrington, Michael Hoey and Shane Lowry, while Irish international Paul Dunne from Greystones bids for the coveted silver medal for best amateur.

Irish Independent

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