Darren Clarke flexed his muscles in his second round as he shot an excellent five-under 67 at the Principal Charity Classic on the PGA Tour Champions.
Clarke is in a share of 20th on six-under, seven shots adrift of Kirk Triplett, Brett Quigley, Jerry Kelly and Steven Alker while the evergreen Berhnard Langer is a shot further back on -12.
The 2011 Open champion carded six birdies with just one bogey on Saturday including a hat trick of birdies on his back nine.
Starting from the tenth, the Portrush native opened with three pars before three birdies and a bogey in five holes saw him turn in 34.
Clarke reeled off a string of birdies from the sixth to the eighth before a par on the ninth brought him home in 33.
The low round of the day was posted by Alker who cruised to the clubhouse in 64 strokes to claim a share of the lead as he hunts his second straight Champions Tour title after winning the Senior PGA.
The Aussie was bogey-free and carded an eagle on the par-5 13th on his way to the summit.
Despite that, the fireworks came from Kelly who was level-par after eleven holes but rocketed to the finish with six birdies in a row.
Caddies are known for carrying the clubs and dipping in and out by saying the right thing to help the mentality of their player but Kelly’s caddy came up trumps with a coaching tip. Golf can be a simple game, stand up straight and hit it straight and that’s how it panned out for the American.
Well, it is all Eric, my caddie. He just — he’s like, you’re just really leaking the posture. That’s been bad, and I made some strides this week and I was really in posture yesterday. And he noticed how far out I was on that front side, and it just made it not quite as strong. I hit some decent shots, but they came up short and they wouldn’t turn out. But once I got in the right spot, the swing came right around. And the putter did, too. I was giving myself chances, so it was good.