Darren Clarke and Alison Clarke - Rebekah Shirley was crowned Open & Direct Miss Northern Ireland 2014 in the Europa Hotel with runners-up Anna Henry & Sophia Adli. Hosts were UTV's Marc Mallet and former Miss NI Joanne Salley, Belfast, Northern Ireland... - Dublin, Ireland - Tuesday 13th May 2014
There won’t have been a single person in the golfing fraternity who would begrudge Northern Ireland golfer Darren Clarke his OBE after a six years which saw him overcome the death of his wife Heather to become an integral part of Europe’s Ryder Cup winning teams of 2006 and 2010 as well as taking his first Major championship when winning The Open in Scotland in 2011.
Clarke was named in the New Year’s Honours list by Queen Elizabeth II, and picked up his honour at Buckingham Palace in London today (November 21). Talking to the BBC after meeting the monarch, Clarke commented "It is right up there, but the Open and Ryder Cup were much easier than this," of meeting the woman that Cheryl Cole recently described as 'having hair like candyfloss'.
Clarke also set up The Darren Clarke Foundation after his wife Heather passed away following a battle with breast cancer, and he said "She would have been proud of me but more proud of the kids than me, sitting in there and seeing the Queen." He added "This wasn't a case of nerves, this was a great honour to meet the Queen” and said that “She asked me about the golf and the charity things as well." Clarke has since re-married to Alison, and she was also there to see him pick up the accolade.
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