NORTHERN IRELAND’S NEWEST major champion, Darren Clarke, has moved to dismiss claims that he was struggling financially in the months prior to his Open Championship victory at Royal St George’s
His manager, Chubby Chandler, was quoted by Graham Otway and Jack White in Sunday’s Daily Mail as saying of the Northerner’s win that:
“The timing could not have been better… Darren has had a big cash flow problem.”
“He lost a lot of money on the jet he bought with Lee Westwood. They bought it when the prices were sky high and sold it with the price at rock bottom.”
In addition to the massive loss he incurred on the private jet deal, Clarke is also believed to have had significant difficulty in selling his £4.25m home in Surrey, England.
Speaking to Karl McGinty in today’s Belfast Telegraph, however, the Open Champion was dismissive of his manager’s concerns.
Yet, when asked yesterday if he’d been cash-strapped before winning at St Georges, Clarke said bluntly: “Not particularly. No.”
Clarke had not been quoted in the article and politely declined to make any further, comment, saying: “I prefer to keep my mouth shut on those sort of things.”
While Chandler’s willingness to advertise the nature of his client’s financial difficulties is probably a measure of his relief at their resolution, it might also be an attempt to emphasise the redemptive aspects of the victory. After all, Clarke is the early front-runner for the BBC’s Sportsperson of the Year Award.