The 38-year-old was the inspiration behind Europe's 18.5 points to 9.5 win over the United States after he lost his wife Heather to a long battle with cancer only weeks before the tournament began in the Emerald Isle.
Clarke joins current US Open Champion Geoff Ogilvy, Robert Allenby, Adam Scott and Stuart Appleby as contenders for Australia's oldest professional event.
"I'm really looking forward to playing the Australian PGA again," said Clarke. "So many players have told me what a great event it is, in a great resort and that it's one of the most enjoyable events they play."
"The PGA is delighted to have such a world-class colourful player as Darren returning to play our Championship," Max Garske, Chief Executive Officer of the PGA said. "Darren demonstrated what a quality player he is through his dominant performance as part of the European Ryder Cup Team this year and we're thrilled he'll be at Coolum for Australia's most enjoyable tournament."
While Clarke has spent much of 2006 away from the golf course, he has recorded three top ten finishes on the European Tour and finished third at the Bay Hill Invitational on the US PGA Tour which places him at 26 on the official world golf rankings. He successfully defended his Mitsui Sumitomo VISA Taiheiyo Masters title in Japan at the end of 2005, and by doing so maintained a record of having won somewhere around the world every year since 1998.
Clarke has visited Australian shores numerous times over his 16 year career and in his last Australian PGA Championship outing at New South Wales Golf Club in 1996, he finished equal 24th.
The Cadbury Schweppes Australian PGA Championship will be played 7-10 December at the Hyatt Regency Coolum on Queensland's Sunshine Coast and will carry a minimum prize purse of $1.2 million.
Source - PGA Australia
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