When he suffered the tragic loss of his beloved wife, Heather, from breast cancer in 2006, Darren Clarke would have been forgiven for thinking he might never know true happiness again.
In the days following his loss, the Northern Irishman battled with grief and his golfing career took a nosedive; any chance of a title steadily receded.
But yesterday, as he celebrated his Open victory with loving fiancée Alison Campbell by his side, it was clear that Darren has got his life firmly back on track.
Fortunately, the two hit it off immediately: 'We met, we talked before we went out and had dinner — we got on like the proverbial house on fire,' he said.
Soon after meeting Ms Campbell, Darren moved with his children back to his native Northern Ireland, fuelling speculation that the move meant his relationship with Ms Campbell was becoming more serious.
Then in December last year, Darren proposed to Alison, presenting her with an engagement ring just before Christmas.
Ms Campbell said yesterday of her role in Darren's success: 'I don’t know what I’ve done, but we’re both very happy and looking forward to a great life together.'
Clarke also dedicated the win to the two sons from his marriage to late wife Heather, Tyrone and Conor, and remembered Heather, saying he was sure she was there to witness his victory.
'Some of you may know there’s someone up there watching as well. 'I know she'd be very proud of me,' he said.