Wednesday 23 August 2017

Clarke woes continue Down Under

Darren Clarke. Photo: Getty Images
Darren Clarke. Photo: Getty Images

Like many first-time Major-winners, Darren Clarke has struggled to make an impact at tournaments since his stunning victory at July's British Open in Sandwich.

Blown out of contention at the Australian PGA by Saturday's third round 79 -- which Clarke himself described as "brutal" -- the Ulsterman signed off at Coolum with a 70 to finish the tournament in a tie for 54th on three-over par.

Clarke (43), who picked up a E2,421 cheque for his efforts, was 15 shots outside the play-off in which Greg Chalmers (67), winner of the Aussie Open a fortnight ago, beat Marcus Fraser (69) and Robert Allenby (68).

Greg Norman had a final-round 74 after a double-bogey six on the 18th when his approach went into the pond guarding the entire left side of the hole. He finished eight behind Chalmers.

Geoff Ogilvy shot a final-round 80, including a nine on the par- three 11th, where he put three balls into the water.

World No 36 Clarke's best finish since Sandwich was a share of 35th place at the European Masters in Switzerland. He brings the Claret Jug to the 12-man Nedbank Challenge in Sun City this week followed by the European Tour's season-ending Race to Dubai, and then an Asian Tour stop in Bangkok the week before Christmas.

Irish Independent

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