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Queen has golf down to a tee, reveals Darren

DARREN Clarke told of how he had to watch his "Ps and Qs" when he came face to face with Queen Elizabeth this week.

But the Ryder Cup golfer, honoured with an OBE for his achievements in 2011 when he won the British Open, found the queen was very well informed.

She asked him about his golf and "knew about my foundation" which supports breast cancer research.

With his wife Alison and sons Tyrone (13) and Conor (12) by his side, Darren told Ryan Tubridy on the Late Late Show last night, they were able to sit down "and watch the whole thing" at Buckingham Palace this week.

He said he was delighted to be able to share the moment with his family.


Darren (44), who played in the Ryder Cup in 2006 just weeks after his wife Heather's death from cancer, said it was a "great honour" to meet the queen.

He also told Ryan that telling his boys that their mum was going to heaven and would not be coming home was the hardest thing he ever had to do.

And he said Heather told him on her deathbed that she wanted him to play the Ryder Cup. "She was an incredibly unselfish woman and I'm an incredibly selfish man," he said.

And Darren said he believes an Irishman will be the next captain of the European Ryder Cup team. Asked by Ryan which he would prefer, he said: "Of course, I would much prefer to be a player."

But he said he would find it "very hard to refuse the captaincy" as he believed either he or Paul McGinley were in the running for it.

The charismatic Ulsterman was a vice captain of the European Ryder Cup team which memorably beat the US at the Medinah Country Club, Chicago, in September, having also played in five previous Ryder Cup clashes.


He captured the nation's heart in 2006 when he put in one of the greatest ever performances in the history of the Ryder Cup at the K Club near Dublin, just six weeks after Heather lost her long fight with breast cancer.