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Darren Clarke secures first major win

Darren Clarke picked up his first major title at Royal St George's yesterday after he held off a mounting US challenge on the final day.

The 42-year-old shot a final round 70 to hold off a trio of US players.

Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler all pressured Clarke at different points during the final round in Kent but the Northern Irishman held his nerve to lift the Claret Jug on the 18th green.

Clarke's win means that golfers from Northern Ireland are holding two of the four major titles in the world of golf, which arguably should be three of four.

Four-time major champion Mickelson, who has been in poor form in recent months, seemed to take to the windswept course, completing the first nine in just 30 shots, including an eagle at the seventh.

He closed the gap to just one shot after picking up a birdie at the tenth, but his round collapsed after the 11th, dropping four shots in six holes, to put him in a tie with Johnson three shots off the pace.

An emotional Clarke dedicated the win to his children.

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