Clarke returns jug, looks to end slump

Clarke returns jug, looks to end slump

Published Jul. 16, 2012 1:00 a.m. ET

Darren Clarke has turned in the claret jug.

They can't take away his first major title.

Clarke effectively finished off his yearlong reign as British Open champion Monday by surrendering the symbol of his triumph to R&A chief executive Peter Dawson. The winner at Royal St. George's says he had tears in his eyes when he gave up the trophy. He's amazed at how fast the time went by.

Clarke hasn't done much as a player since his triumph. His highest finish is 17th, and he missed the cut at both the PGA and the Masters before withdrawing from the U.S. Open with an injury. He admits to falling into a ''bit of a trap'' - trying to live up to his title instead of just playing like a champion.