New Year honours for Rory and Darren

MAJOR winners Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke have had their on-course success recognised in the Queens New Year Honours list.
US Open winner McIlroy said he was ‘humbled’ after becoming an MBE aged just 22 while Open Champion Clarke claimed his OBE was a ‘great honour’.
“It is a fantastic way to end a great year. I am very proud for me and my family,” said the 43-year-old who landed his major title at Royal St Georges in July.
“It is a privilege to be recognised with an OBE. It is a lot to take in.
“I could not have envisaged the year I have had. Winning The Open was obviously a dream come true, and it was at the 20th attempt.
“I had chances before and at 42 thought that maybe it was just not to be.
“It was a life-changing moment really and in many ways my feet have not touched the floor since.
“And now this. It reflects everything I have achieved in the game which makes me feel very proud.”
A stalwart of the European Tour and a five-time Ryder Cup player, Clarke will get his 2012 season up at running next month at the Volvo Golf champions tournament in South Africa.
McIlroy, on holiday in Thailand with girlfriend, tennis star Caroline Wozniacki said: “I am delighted to be named in the Queen’s New Year Honours List. It is quite humbling to be included in such a list of worthy recipients.
“Many people on the honours list have made huge personal sacrifices and contributed significantly to society during their lives. I feel very fortunate to be in their company.”
McIlroy, a three-time winner in 2011 will start his 2012 European Tour season in Abu Dhabi at the HSBC Golf Championship at the end of next month.
Both golfers follow in the footsteps of fellow Ulster man, Graeme McDowell, who received an MBE last year following his 2010 US Open win at Pebble Beach.

 

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