Clarke's Golf Swing Highlights
Attachment: Castletown Hotel & Golf Links, Isle of Man
Interests: Sports, films, reading, cars, fishing
Date of Birth: 14 August, 1968
Height/Weight: 6ft 2"/225 pounds
Turned Pro: September 1990 (plus 4)
Family: Wife: Heather (m. 1996); Children: Tyrone (1998), Conor (2000)
Became the first European to win one of the World Golf Championships events, capturing the Accenture Match Play Championship in February 2000, beating David Duval in the semi-final and Tiger Woods in the 36-hole final at La Costa Resort and Spa.
Darren Clarke preferred rugby union before discovering he could strike a golf ball straight enough to earn a comfortable living.
Clarke is widely regarded as a talented under-achiever whose comfortable build betrays his dislike for physical exercise and fondness for a pint.
Yet on Sunday it was the amiable Northern Irishman, a 20-1 outsider, who prevailed over the world number one in the Andersen Consulting Match Play Championship in Carlsbad, California.
Clarke, who shares coach Butch Harmon with Woods, produced a series of dazzling iron shots to trounce the world number one 4 and 3 in the 36-hole final.
"Darren has the ability to play great golf," Woods said. "It's just dependent on how dedicated he is to the work ethic.
"Butch has been trying to get him to work a little harder."
No one has ever questioned Clarke's talent.
Without the benefit of a formal lesson, he had a handicap of plus three by the age of 17.
Clarke, 31, turned professional 10 years ago but to date has won only five European tour events although he has consistently finished high up the leaderboard.
"I am happy-go-lucky most of the time," he said in a newspaper interview. "Part of it is the Irish thing, wanting to go and have a pint every now and then.
"That doesn't quite fit into the professional golfer mould. The professional golfer shouldn't have any time to go to the bar.
"But I find I have got to take a little bit of time away from it, have a pint or two and still relax a little bit. I can't change it. That is the way I am."
Clarke may not work hard at his physical conditioning but he does practise hard.
Clarke won a million dollars and jumped five places to 14th in the world rankings after Sunday's heroics.
"My next aim is to get into the top 10," he said. "And I'd obviously like to win a major."
Clarke was a major hero of Europe's winning Ryder Club Team 2002.