DARREN Clarke put in one of the greatest performances in the history of the Ryder Cup during emotional scenes at the K Club.
It was 2006, just six weeks after his first wife, Heather, lost her long fight with breast cancer.
But the golfer admitted that meeting Queen Elizabeth was more "nerve-racking" than playing in a major tournament.
The Open winner was speaking after receiving his OBE at Buckingham Palace in recognition of his golfing success in 2011.
"It's right up there," he said, after receiving the honour, "but the Open and Ryder Cup were much easier than this."
The 2011 British Open champion said Heather would have been proud of him – as was second wife, Alison, who was at the ceremony with his children to see him presented with his medal by the queen.
"She would have been proud of me but more proud of the kids than me, sitting in there and seeing the queen."
Looking dapper in his top hat and tails, Clarke posed on the steps of Buckingham Palace after meeting the queen.