Clarke and Harrington both finish outside top-10 as Stricker prevails at Sanford International

Adam McKendry

Darren Clarke (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

It wasn’t to be in his title defence for Darren Clarke as both he and Padraig Harrington finished just outside the top-10 at the Sanford International in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Both players started the day three shots off the lead, with Clarke in particular looking for a big final round as he tried to defend his title, but neither had the goods on Sunday.

A pair of two-under 68s from the duo was only good enough to get them to nine-under-par for the week, which dropped them outside the top-10 and saw them finish the week tied for 11th.


Instead, Steve Stricker prevailed, the former US Ryder Cup captain winning his second straight PGA Tour Champions title by beating Sweden’s Robert Karlsson in a play-off.

A closing six-under 64 saw Stricker post the clubhouse lead at 14-under-par thanks to six birdies in a bogey-free effort, but Karlsson picked up a crucial birdie at the 17th to force extra holes after a 66 of his own.

However, it would be the American’s day as he backed up his Ally Challenge success with another trophy for the cabinet, his birdie at the first play-off hole enough for the win.

“You’ve just got to stay aggressive at times out here and I was doing that. I did a good job of that today and hit a lot of good putts,” Stricker said. “That one on the playoff, it was a special putt, that was really cool to do.”

Stricker has joined Harrington as one of five players with three wins on Tour this season, with the Dubliner closing his tournament with an adventurous round that included an eagle, three birdies and three bogeys.

Clarke, meanwhile, had to battle back from bogeys on his first two holes to card his 68, five birdies and a bogey on his way back to the clubhouse at least fixing some of the early damage.


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