2011 Open champion Darren Clarke told the No Laying Up podcast an amazing story about hitting balls next to Tiger Woods on the driving range.
2011 Open Championship winner Darren Clarke recently revealed a story about Tiger Woods in which the American produced something “he will never see again.”
Speaking on the No Laying Up podcast, Clarke discussed his joy at winning the Claret Jug 11 years ago at Royal St. George’s in Kent and also winning the Senior Open earlier this year in Scotland.
He said that Woods messaged him throughout that memorable week that he missed himself with injury. Clarke described their strong friendship during which Woods gave Clarke the nickname ‘FF’. Make of that what you will.
On the pod, the Northern Irishman was asked about a specific story that includes him and Woods hitting balls on the driving range at an unspecified tournament in Germany some years ago.
“Tiger put his bag down and started hitting some balls. Back in those days, you couldn’t use certain pesticides on the ground, unlike the perfectly manicured courses you have these days,” Clarke said.
“Because they had new pesticides, there were worm casts coming up everywhere and the turf was a little bit damp. It wasn’t firm, it wasn’t crisp or anything.
“Tiggy was going through his whole bag, starting with his lob wedge and then into his 9 iron and then he’d turn around and give me a little bit of s***, a little bit of abuse.
“He’d go back and hit some more balls – he flushed every shot, I mean just pured every shot, didn’t miss one. Just pured it. He finished off with his driver – about 45 minutes later and said ‘OK FF, I’m away, see ya, bye’, and off he wondered.
“I looked down at his divot pattern and all it was, the grass was still green and it was all brushed. There were no divots and he pured every shot. Some of the listeners might not understand that, but that is, to this day, the single most impressive thing I have ever seen in my career.
“I will never see it again. Not one divot. Nothing, just absolutely pured every shot. Just off the charts. At that stage, he was obviously No.1 in the world, but he was just incredible. He just pured it.”
Clarke is just another person to be mesmerised by the 15-time major champion. Even a major winner with 27 professional wins can be starstruck. We are set to see Woods tee it up next at the PNC Championship in December.
As well as talking about Woods, Clarke also spoke about the LIV Golf Tour and the offer he received to join their broadcast team. He frankly admitted had he been a younger golfer, he couldn’t say what he’d do if Greg Norman approached him with a lucrative offer.
His desire to win the Senior Open proved too strong for him to join LIV Golf, and his dream came to fruition at Gleneagles back in July.