By PGATOUR.COM staff
ZANDVOORT, Netherlands -- Darren Clarke will return to the PGA TOUR for the first time in seven years, taking advantage of the five-year exemption he earned by winning the 2011 Open Championship.
The 45-year-old Northern Irishman, who hasn't won a tournament since that Open Championship, made the announcement Thursday. The Open Championship was Clarke's third PGA TOUR title; he also won the 2000 World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship and 2003 World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational.
If he doesn't qualify for the European Tour's Final Series, he could rejoin the PGA TOUR at The McGladrey Classic in St. Simons Island, Ga., on Nov. 7-10.
"I've decided I will be taking up my U.S. TOUR card next season but that does not mean abandoning Europe," Clarke said in a statement.
Clarke gave up his PGA TOUR membership after his first wife Heather succumbed to cancer in 2006, choosing to concentrate on the European Tour to be closer to his two sons. He has since remarried and decided to take advantage of the remainder of his exemption.