Darren Clarke and Rory McIlroy will be seeing a lot of each other in the coming months -- and perhaps the new British Open champion will be able to convince the 22-year-old that he can win in all weather.
Pre-Open favorite McIlroy, winner of the U.S. Open by eight shots last month, was only 25th at Royal St. George’s and sounded pessimistic about his future chances.
"I'm not a fan of tournaments that the outcome is predicted so much by the weather -- it's not my sort of golf," said the 22-year-old. "I'm looking forward to getting back to America and getting back into some nice conditions.
"I'd rather play when it's 80 degrees and sunny and not much wind -- and there's no point in changing your game for one week a year."
Links fan Clarke, whose victory will add to the calls for the Open to be played at Royal Portrush for the first time since 1951, and McIlroy are both in the field for next week's Irish Open in Killarney.
Then it will be on to the United States for the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone -- Clarke won there in 2003 -- and PGA Championship, where they will play the first two rounds with Masters champion Charl Schwartzel.
They also now have the PGA Grand Slam in Bermuda later in the year, and Clarke will next April make his first trip to Augusta National since 2007. He has become exempt for the following four Masters as well and can play in the Open until he is 60. Only three years ago he was back having to qualify for it -- and failing.
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