Darren Clarke back in the spotlight
Only weeks after talking of taking a break from golf because it was going badly, Darren Clarke is back in the spotlight.
Only a few weeks after talking about taking a break from golf because things were going so badly, Darren Clarke has bounced back into the spotlight.
Clarke, spurred on by fellow Northern Irishmen Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy, leads the Barclays Scottish Open at Loch Lomond after shooting a first round six under par 65.
And there is an added incentive for the 40-year-old. This is his last chance to grab a place in The Open next week.
“I’ve been on Tour for a long time,” he said when asked about the one St Andrews spot on offer.
“This is the first round and there’s an awful long way to go, but of course I would love to qualify.”
The Ryder Cup hero will return in the morning a stroke ahead of England’s Graeme Storm, Ireland’s Damien McGrane and Italian Edoardo Molinari.
McDowell, returning to Tour life three weeks after his US Open triumph, trails by six after what he described as a “mixed bag” and Masters champion Phil Mickelson is on the same level par mark as he begins his bid for the top two finish he needs to take him to the world number one spot for the first time.
Clarke did not drop a shot all day, collecting four birdies in six holes from the third, making further birdies at the 13th and 14th and then saving par from a greenside bunker on the last during a torrential downpour.
“It was pretty tough. The wind was swirling it got very wet for the last couple of holes.”
The round did not come totally out of blue. Clarke was a runner-up in South Africa in January, was sixth in Portugal last month and on Tuesday won the star-studded JP McManus featuring Tiger Woods at Adare Manor in west Ireland.
England’s Charley Hull triumphs in Texas to end six-year wait for LPGA title
The victory was the 26-year-old’s first on the LPGA Tour since prevailing at the CME Group Tour Championship in November 2016.
Ryan Fox remembers Shane Warne after St Andrews success
The New Zealander secured his third DP World Tour title in front of his family with a one-shot victory at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
Romain Langasque equals course record to lead Alfred Dunhill Links Championship
The Frenchman recovered from an early bogey with two eagles and eight birdies to reach 11 under par.
Rory McIlroy bemoans ‘ugly year’ and seeks solution to divide in golf world
The arrival of Saudi-backed LIV Golf series has fractured the game in 2022.
On this day in 2014 – Europe retain Ryder Cup with Gleneagles victory
The Gleneagles victory was Europe’s eighth win in 10 matches.
‘Is this where I am going to die?’ Nicolas Colsaerts on kidney disorder battle
The Belgian is the focus of attention this week as he belatedly defends the Cazoo Open de France title he won three years ago.
On this day in 2008: Ryder Cup misery in Louisville for Nick Faldo’s Europe team
Faldo was heavily criticised for his tactics in the closing singles.
Open champion Cameron Smith wins first LIV trophy in just second start
The world number two is the highest-ranked player to join the rebel series.
Robert MacIntyre beats Matt Fitzpatrick in play-off to win Italian Open
MacIntyre birdied the first extra hole at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club, the venue for next year’s Ryder Cup.
Matt Fitzpatrick holds narrow lead ahead of final round at Italian Open
Rory McIlroy and Aaron Rai are one shot off the pace.