KILLARNEY, Ireland -- Darren Clarke has told those who criticized his British Open victory celebrations to "get a life."
"There's been a little bit of chat about 'he shouldn't have had a drink, he shouldn't have done this, he shouldn't have done that'," said Clarke of the debates on talk radio and elsewhere of the aftermath of his victory. "I won a golf tournament and people are concerned about whether or not I had one pint too many. I mean, get a life -- it's sport.
2011 IRISH OPEN
The 7,161-yard, par-71 course at the Killarney Golf and Fishing Club is built alongside Lough Leane, which can come into play on four of the first 10 holes.
"It was radio shows and phone-ins and that sort of stuff -- debates. People are entitled to their opinion, but there are bigger and more important things than me winning a tournament."
After staying up all night immediately after his triumph, Clarke partied on when he returned to Portrush.
"I think I lit the candle a little bit too much and had the flu over the weekend," he added. "I spent some time in bed and was a little but run down."
In the lead-up to the Irish Open, Clarke said, he spoke again to his two mental coaches, Bob Rotella and Mike Finnegan.
"There was a lot about reassessing some goals and trying to work towards something else now,” he said. "There's most definitely a temptation to say that what happens the rest of the year doesn't matter as I'm Open champion -- I've been fortunate in that I've done nearly everything there is to do in the game.
"I think it's not going to make any difference as to my desire and determination to win tournaments, but I'm much more relaxed,” he added. "One of Rotella's old sayings is 'try less and get more,' whereas I've done trying a lot and getting a little bit."
THEY’RE IN IT FOR LIFE: Darren Clarke and Rory McIlroy have both been made honorary life members of the European Tour after their U.S. Open-British Open double this summer.
The pair were presented with their badges at the Irish Open by Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny -- he played with McIlroy in the pro-am -- and European Tour Chief Executive George O'Grady.
Clarke, 42, is the oldest Claret Jug winner since 1967, while 22-year-old McIlroy became the youngest U.S. Open champion since 1933.
CASEY AIDS ENGLISH GOLF: Paul Casey has donated his $30,000 winnings from the inaugural PowerPlay Golf event at Celtic Manor to the English Golf Union in recognition of their help during his amateur career.
"I had great support from the EGU when I was coming through the ranks as a junior, so I am very happy to help them with their player development program," he said. "They have had tremendous success in recent years bringing through the best young talent in England and I hope this donation can contribute to more great players coming through in the future."
"This is a fantastic gesture by Paul,” said EGU Chief Executive John Petrie. “He is a great example of an English player who made a successful transition from elite amateur to world-class tour professional with some solid support from the EGU along the way -- and he is by no means the only example.
"Tom Lewis' performance at the Open was just one of a number of very strong performances this year by EGU squad members and further evidence that the EGU's efforts play an invaluable part in contributing to the continued success of English golf."