Clarke falls away on final day as Parel takes ClubCorp Classic title

Adam McKendry

Darren Clarke (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

Adam McKendry

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A disappointing final round saw Darren Clarke miss the chance for his best finish of the season as he fell away at the ClubCorp Classic, finishing in a share of 30th place in Irving, Texas.

The former Open champion entered the final round tied for 18th but only carded two birdies alongside a bogey and a double-bogey in a relatively uneventful fourth round 72 that saw him finish the week at one-under-par.

That meant Clarke ended the week ten shots off winner Scott Parel, who finished on 11-under-par alongside Steven Alker and Gene Sauers but triumphed on the first hole of the three-way play-off at Las Colinas Country Club.

For Clarke, he missed an excellent chance to record his first top-10 finish of the season having struggled in his final round after a bogey on his opening hole got him off to a poor start from which he never recovered.

Despite a birdie at the par-five seventh, a double-bogey on the par-four ninth shattered his momentum and after stringing together eight straight pars, he would at least finish with a birdie to end the week under-par.

It’s been a tough start to the season for Clarke, who has failed to finish better than 14th in six starts since the turn of the year, and this one will frustrate him most given the position he put himself in on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Parel finally ended a winless play-off record by triumphing over Alker and Sauers to claim his fourth PGA Tour Champions title after a five-under 65 in his final round earned him a share of the lead.

He was matched by a superb 63 from Sauers to tie the clubhouse lead, with overnight leader Alker joining them with a 68, but it would be Parel who would come out on top with a par at the par-five 18th the first time round, with his rivals both bogeying.

“I played really, really well. I had one bad hole where I made kind of a bad decision, but then came back pretty well, made three birdies at the end,” said Parel.

“And then the playoff, I was very fortunate. I certainly didn’t think par would win, especially after where we all were with our tee shots.”

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