Ryder Cup LogoRyder Cup: Team USASeptember 22-24 2006, The K Club, Straffan, County Kildare, Ireland
Story Image Darren Clarke (L) of Europe is congratulated by European Team Captain Ian Woosnam on the 16th green after winning his singles match against Zach Johnson of USA on the final day of the 2006 Ryder Cup at The K Club

Team Europe Pay the Perfect Tribute to Heather Clarke

Ian Woosnam summed up the depth of feeling towards Darren Clarke by dedicating Europe's fantastic victory to the Irishman's Late wife Heather, who died on August 13, 2006

Michael Gibbons, Press Officer
24 September 2006

“Every single one of us has dedicated this to Heather, and Darren.” The words of Europe’s victorious Ryder Cup Captain Ian Woosnam in tribute to the late wife of Darren Clarke, who died from breast cancer at the age of 39 on August 13, 2006.

Woosnam’s words, simple and to the point, brought a fitting end to a sensational week for the European Team.

While The 2006 Ryder Cup should rightly go down in history for the Team’s spectacular performance on the golf course, it will also be remembered as an occasion when the game of golf allowed the human spirit to soar high and true above everything else.

How else can you describe the level of feeling that flooded the K Club’s 16th green as the tournament’s defining moment unfolded? It happened at 15:36 on Sunday afternoon, as Clarke completed his 3 & 2 victory over America’s Zach Johnson.

With thousands of Irish fans packing the greenside grandstands, and thousands more pouring on to the fairway to catch of glimpse of the big Irishman being mobbed by his team mates and their inspirational Captain Woosnam, the moment was one of pure emotion.

Clarke, who made himself available for selection as a wild card pick to Woosnam just three weeks after Heather’s passing, had come through an unbelievable test of character at The K Club.

It was a test that he passed with flying colours as a result of the support of everyone involved in this magnificent event, from his own Team and the Team from the USA to the thousands of millions of television viewers who willed every shot the Irishman struck to be pure and true.

“The support I have received this week has been unbelievable,” said Clarke in the midst of those moving scenes on the 16th green.

“From our Team, the US Team and their wives, it has been incredible and the support that I got from the crowds from the first day until now is something that I will cherish forever.

“This has done a lot for me – it has shown me how much they care about me and how much they cared about Heather, and that means everything to me.”

Video Highlights

Darren Clarke Sunday Video Recap
Check out all the great highlights from Sunday's European victory. Watch

Memorable Moments

  • 1969: Tony Jacklin and Jack Nicklaus on the final hole of the final day.