Monday, November 2, 2020

Darren Clarke secures maiden PGA Tour Champions victory worth $300k but visa complication means celebrations moved from USA to the Bahamas

Darren Clarke has won his first professional tournament since his 2011 victory at the Open Championship.

Gareth Hanna
Belfast Telegraph

A visa complication means that Darren Clarke will have to make do with celebrating his maiden PGA Tour Champions victory - worth $300,000 - in the Bahamas.

Watched on by nervous wife Alison, the 2011 Open Champion finally picked up his first success since that famous week at Royal St George's as he edged out Bernhard Langer and Jim Furyk to win the TimberTech Championship by a single shot.

Clarke had shared a one-shot lead over Furyk with Robert Karlsson going into Sunday's final round thanks to a stunning 10-under-par 62 on Saturday.

He had to recover from a double-bogey on the ninth to get over the line for his 23rd professional victory with a final round 68, aided by Langer's two drop shots across his final four holes.

However, Clarke will not be able to challenge for a second win on the trot when the Champions Tour - the former Seniors Tour - rolls into Phoenix for the Charles Schwab Cup Championship next week.

"My VISA's expired and as a non-US citizen, you can only go to the embassy outside of the US to get it renewed, but they're all shut due to COVID," he explained, insisting that he will return to the PGA Tour Champions when he is eligible. "It's nobody's fault. Then my ESTA is for 90 days only and that runs out on Wednesday. Consequently, I've got to leave the country."  Read more >>