Sport Golf

Thursday 21 August 2014

Darren Clarke trails as Americans set blistering pace in Georgia

Published 07/11/2013 | 22:03

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Darren Clarke hits out of the 17th bunker during the first round of the McGladrey Classic golf tournament in St. Simons Island, Georgia. (AP Photo/Stephen Morton)
Darren Clarke hits out of the 17th bunker during the first round of the McGladrey Classic golf tournament in St. Simons Island, Georgia. (AP Photo/Stephen Morton)

Americans Briny Baird and Brian Gay shared the early lead on the first day of The McGladrey Classic in Georgia.

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The duo both fired opening-round 63s to sit seven under after fog had delayed play by almost two hours in the morning.

Ireland’s Darren Clarke could only manage a one-under 69 and will be hoping to improve tomorrow.

Former US Open champion Webb Simpson was one of three players two shots back alongside fellow American Kevin Kisner and South Korean Seung-yul Noh.

Baird has not recorded a win in his previous 364 appearances on Tour but could break that duck this week after a stunning start at Sea Island.

The 41-year-old recorded a flawless round as he birdied the second, third and fourth holes before hitting another hot streak at the end of his day with further birdies at 14, 15, 16 and 17.

Gay did have a blemish on his card as he dropped a shot on the 12th but he countered that with eight birdies in calm conditions.

Simpson, Noh and Kisner were two behind after firing rounds of 65 and there was a large group behind them on four under including Jonathan Byrd and Camilo Villegas.

Will MacKenzie was the best of the afternoon starters as he sat four under after six holes with former Masters champion Trevor Immelman a further shot back through eight.

Major champions YE Yang, Retief Goosen and Ben Curtis were all on two under having completed their rounds while defending champion Tommy Gainey was level par through four holes.

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