Before Darren Clark’s wife, Heather, died of secondary breast cancer, she whispered something in her husband’s ear.

“If (European team captain Lee Westwood) asks you to play in the Ryder Cup, I want you to play,” she said, succumbing to the disease on Aug. 13, 2006, and a few weeks later Clarke played for the European Ryder Cup team with the heaviest of hearts.

“I had no idea if I was going to miss the ball, top the ball or dunk it – absolutely no idea,” Clarke said of his first match in the emotionally charged 2006 cup, in which he won all three of his matches and was hailed a hero, soldiering on to help lead the Europeans to victory over the United States.

Despite his grief and personal tragedy, Clarke, who had been a part of winning European Ryder Cup teams in 2002 and 2004, played well at the K Club outside of Dublin, Ireland.