Darren Clarke, 45, set for PGA Tour return

Add Darren Clarke to the list of international players who have recently taken up membership on the PGA Tour.

Clarke, 45, will return to the PGA Tour for the first time in seven years, he announced Thursday. The Northern Irishman will use a five-year exemption from his 2011 Open Championship victory to earn his card.

“I’ve decided I will be taking up my U.S. tour card next season, but that does not mean abandoning Europe,” said Clarke, who gave up his PGA Tour card in 2006 to concentrate on the European Tour.

Clarke joins a growing list of international players who have recently decided to accept PGA Tour membership. Martin Kaymer, David Lynn, Nicolas Colsaerts and Peter Hanson all became full-time PGA Tour members this season.

Like those players, Clarke expects to retain his European Tour membership.

Should he fail to qualify for the European Tour finals, which begin Oct. 25, Clarke could likely make his first Tour start of next season at the McGladrey Championship on Nov. 7.

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