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Sunday 31 August 2014

Clarke and Lynn reach milestones

Published 09/04/2014 | 19:07

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Darren Clarke will reach a major milestone on Thursday

Darren Clarke and David Lynn will have extra reasons to enjoy the 78th US Masters when it gets under way at Augusta National on Thursday.

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Former Open champion Clarke will become the first Northern Irishman to make 500 appearances on the European Tour when he tees off shortly before noon local time, while Lynn will make his 400th appearance at 8:29am.

Clarke, who will become the 25th player to reach such a milestone, was presented with an engraved silver ice bucket by Tour chief executive George O'Grady and said: "It seems like only yesterday that I was setting out on this journey into the unknown, but here we are 500 tournaments down the road and still counting.

"I couldn't have done it without a lot of help from a lot of people - they know who they are and I thank them enormously for it.

"What gives me just as much satisfaction in reaching this milestone is that I have seen the European Tour change enormously during my 20 plus years on the Tour, and for the vast majority it's been for the better.

"I'd like to thank the Tour for honouring me in this way and I hope we can share many more milestones in the future."

Clarke was set to make his 500th appearance in the Qatar Masters in January, but was forced to withdraw from the event because of a pulled muscle. The 45-year-old also missed last year's Masters through injury.

Lynn made his Masters debut last year and was two shots off the lead after an opening 68, before going on to finish 46th. However, the 40-year-old Englishman has missed the cut in his past three events on the PGA Tour.

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