British Open 2011: Darren Clarke's Very Touching Victory

Bermuda BobAnalyst IIJuly 18, 2011

SANDWICH, ENGLAND - JULY 17:  Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland looks at the Claret Jug following his victory at the end of the final round of The 140th Open Championship at Royal St George's on July 17, 2011 in Sandwich, England.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Any of us who have been long-time, avid golfers and fans know of the ups and downs of the game, but few of us have endured those Darren Clarke has experienced. 

Darren's wife, Heather, died of cancer in 2006. She went from being the "angel" by his side walking fairways with him, to being the Angel on his shoulder this week at the "The Open" of 2011. 

Regardless of just how refreshing it was to see him become yet another different player to win a Major not named Tiger Woods, it was even more touching to hear him acknowledge that he had some help "... from up above."   

All too often in sports, we are forced to endure comments about performance, which glorifies the athlete giving more than is humanly possible.  The much overused comment about "110%" comes to mind.

All of us have experienced, as Darren explained, "In terms of what’s going through my heart there’s obviously somebody who is watching down from up above."  Darren's recognition was as refreshing and inspirational as his self-deprecating jokes once drier eyes returned.

I was particularly touched because Sunday was the two (2) year anniversary of my receiving a life-saving Liver Transplant. My story appears in my profile, but suffice it to say, I know of having a personal "angel" who assured I am here today to tell you about it.

Congratulations, Darren ... and Cheers, Heather !!!