Darren Clarke eagled the par-5 18th hole Saturday for a 10-under 62 and a share of the second-round lead in the PGA TOUR Champions’ TimberTech Championship.
Winless on the PGA TOUR Champions, Clarke now 52 carded eight birdies in the bogey-round at The Old Course at Broken Sound.
“I’m looking forward to tomorrow.,” Clarke said. “Maybe one of these days I am going to have one. Unfortunately, with my S-10 visa situation, this is my last tournament, I can’t play Phoenix next week. Let’s hope I finish the year strong.”
Robert Karlsson of Sweden birdied the 18th for a 66 to match Clarke at 13-under 131. “When you play on the PGA TOUR Champions, it’s just very, very low scoring all the time and very bunched up,” Karlsson said. “I’m trying not to get too caught up in it, play my own game and that’s going to be the plan tomorrow as well. It’s a bit of a weird feeling playing without crowds as well, so in one way it’s not much different. I’m just going to try to treat it as a normal day and go out and try to shoot as low as I can.”
Clarke overcame a one-stroke penalty for picking up his ball on the second fairway, forgetting that preferred lies weren’t allowed in the wet conditions. “First hole, fine. Second hole, down the middle of the fairway, marked it, picked it up. Oops,” Clarke said. “One-shot penalty straightaway. Anyway, hit it over the back of the green, chipped it in for par.” He set up the closing eagle with an 8-iron to 3 feet.
Jim Furyk was a stroke back after a 68. The 50-year-old Furyk won this year in his first two starts on the PGA TOUR Champions. Local favorite Bernhard Langer, the winner in 2010 and 2019, had a 68 to join Cameron Beckman (66), Kent Jones (66) and Scott Parel (68) at 11 under.
“It’s nice to be in the hunt, nice to see my name up there on the leaderboard and not too far behind,” the 63-year-old Langer said. “It’s playing totally different this year to the years in the past. Where it used to be firm and bouncy and shorter, this year it’s a lot longer, so I’m struggling a bit more on the par 5s. Can’t reach them like the long hitters can.”
John Daly, tied with Furyk for first-round lead after a 64, had a 73 to trop into a tie for 20th at at 7 under. Daly is playing his fourth event since revealing he’s fighting bladder cancer.
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