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Open Reactions

The thoughts of the people who matter from last weeks Open

Posted Jul 20, 2011 by Chris White

Darren Clarke won the Open for the first time in his 20th attempt

We’re all pretty aware now that it was Darren Clarke who was the 2011 Open winner, finishing 5-under-par and three shots clear of Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson, and we’ve all read the press and watched the television or listened to the radio, telling us who won and how, but what did the people who matter make of the whole event?

2011 Open winner Darren Clarke: “Yesterday I played as good as I could play from tee to green and I didn't really get anything out of it. Today I played okay. Got a couple of good breaks that went my way. Also at the same time I hit lots of great putts today, which burnt the edges and didn’t go in. So it sort of balanced out.

“The fans were sensational for me all week. They really were. The support they have given me through the bad weather as well as the good weather. They were all out there roaring and shouting. It was just brilliant to have that amount of support. It's been a while since I've felt that amount of support. The fans could not have been any better for me this week. They really were. They've been a pleasure. They've been very, very kind to me.

“I still feel as if I can compete with the best players in the world, and that's what I want to do. Obviously I can.”

2011 Open runner-up Dustin Johnson: “I think I had a great week. I came into the week -- obviously I came down with a little bit of illness, wasn't feeling that well, so I didn't know what to expect. But I fought all week, and I didn't have my best stuff this week for sure. But I hung in there and just fought around, and I think I did very well. Darren holed a lot of key putts. He holed a lot of six, eight-footers for par that he needed to make that keeps that round going, keeps the momentum up.”

2011 Open runner-up Phil Mickelson: “That was some of the most fun I've had competitively. It was one of those times where you're not thinking birdie and things were just happening. I'm not planning on making a 50-footer for eagle, but it just happens. I hit some of the best shots I've hit in the wind, not just today but really all week. I made some great putts today. And then later on when I ended up missing them, I still hit great putts that caught the lip or looked like they were going to go in.

“When I saw Darren wasn't going to make a mistake and he played some great golf, when he didn't make any mistakes there throughout the round, I had to start trying to make birdies, and that's when I ended up making a couple bogeys.”

2011 US Open winner Rory McIlroy: “it's been a tough week for me. I felt like I did well the first couple of rounds, and I just struggled a bit in the bad weather at the weekend. I'm not a fan of golf tournaments that the outcome is predicted so much by the weather. It's not my sort of golf. Yeah, I'm disappointed with the way I finished obviously, but I'll just have to wait until next year to try and make a good run at this tournament.

“Back home in Northern Ireland, he's the forgotten man a little bit with Graeme doing what he did last year and then me coming on. He missed Munich for my win. I don't think I'll miss a tournament for his, but I'll definitely be there and I'll definitely be one of the last ones to go to bed.”

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