Clarke basking in a dream come true; Only judge Mayo when it’s do-or-die

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Ireland’s Darren Clarke during a press conference at Portrush. Photograph: Paul Childs/Reuters

Ireland’s Darren Clarke during a press conference at Portrush. Photograph: Paul Childs/Reuters

Former champion Darren Clarke will hit the opening tee shot in the British Open Championship at Portrush on Thursday morning. Yesterday’s tee times revealed Clarke, who owns a house overlooking the Dunluce Links, is scheduled to get play under way at 6.35am alongside Amateur Championship winner James Sugrue and American Charley Hoffman. Clarke told Philip Reid he is basking in the reality of a dream come true this week. Here’s an all you need to know guide ahead of the final Major of the year.

Kevin McStay writes in his column this morning that Mayo can only be judged when it’s do-or-die: “In Killarney, they did not put in the effort and energy that would make you think that their championship life depended on the result. Why? Because it did not. The stakes were different for Kerry – the importance of not being bullied by Mayo; of minding the Killarney record, of making a statement . . . it was huge.”

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