Monday 23 April 2018

Clarke storms to the top of the British Open leaderboard

Darren Clarke
Darren Clarke

Darren Clarke sat at the top of the leaderboard at the British Open this afternoon, hitting a second round of 68 to take a share of the clubhouse lead on four under.

A birdie at the third was cancelled after a double bogey at the fourth.

However, he got those two shots back on the seventh when slotting a difficult putt for eagle.

A birdie on the ninth got him to four under.

His great run continued on the back nine with three bogeys and three birdies, the last of which came on the 18th.

Yesterday's leader Thomas Bjorn held a one-shot lead when he teed off in the afternoon, but he slipped back with three bogeys.

Meanwhile Graeme McDowell declared himself as "a mental case" and criticised his own attitude at the British Open.

The 2010 US Open winner began the day two under but three-putted three greens on his way to a miserable 77.

This left him five over for the tournament and a well short of making the cut.

He said: “I was ready for this tournament but by the time I walked off the first green yesterday I wasn’t ready any more, it’s very frustrating. .

“I’ve always enjoyed the mental side of the game but I wouldn’t say I’m enjoying it so much right now because I’m a bit of a mental case out there.

“I need an attitude readjustment. I need to care a bit less about the game.

“My attitude has been pretty average the last two days, just not having a lot of belief or confidence in myself.

“I’ve been doing a little work with Bob Rotella (the leading golf sports psychologist) so maybe I need to do a little more, get on the couch and tell him all my problems.

“You can’t wait for the golf ball to make you feel happy because it ain’t going to make you feel happy every day.”

And he admitted he was trying to hard to replicated the form that brought him major success at the US Open.

“It’s hard not to compare to last year. I didn’t set out in 2011 trying to eclipse 2010 but deep inside I know I can do it, so maybe I want it too badly.”

“This is The Open. We are under pressure. We want to do well – maybe I’ve been trying a little too hard the last couple days.”

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