Wednesday 21 August 2019

Clarke wins Walter Hagen Ambassador of Game award

Darren Clarke will hit the first tee shot in Thursday's British Open first round at Royal Portrush. Photo: Darren Carroll/PGA of America
Darren Clarke will hit the first tee shot in Thursday's British Open first round at Royal Portrush. Photo: Darren Carroll/PGA of America

Darren Clarke became the first recipient of the Walter Hagen Ambassador of the Game award at the Country Club of Rochester last week.

Hagen was the Country Club of Rochester's first head professional and the award recognises those who contribute to the growth of the sport with Clarke singled out for his work with The Darren Clarke Foundation.

"To receive this Walter Hagen award is huge and huge for my foundation and the people back home behind the scenes," said Clarke, who would go on to finish 35th in the KitchenAid Senior PGA at nearby Oak Hill.

"Everything works great but it's the people behind the scenes that need all the credit for it, but it's wonderful for the members of CCR to give me the first one. It's very special."

Mark Gianniny, a partner of Linden Oaks Management Company and a Country Club of Rochester member who presented the award to Clarke said the Dungannon man's activities off the course through The Darren Clarke Foundation made him an exemplary ambassador of the game.

"The Foundation's purpose of introducing the game of golf to Juniors and stressing the virtues of honesty, integrity, responsibility, fair play and equality reflect most honourably upon him and embody the essence of Hagen," he said.

"He, like Hagen, understands the junior golfers comprise 100% of the game's future."

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