69 for Clarke as Leonard blitzes the field with 62

Ronan MacNamara

Darren Clarke (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Darren Clarke continued his good form with an opening three-under 69 to leave him seven shots off the pace at the American Family Insurance Championship in Wisconsin.

Former Open champion Justin Leonard has a three-shot lead after powering away from the field with a ten-under 62.

Making his first start in the American Family Insurance Championship, Leonard opened with birdies on four of his first five holes and closed with four birdies in his six last en route to a bogey-free 10-under 62, to shoot the course record at University Ride Golf Course.


“I didn’t see 62, I didn’t wake up thinking I was going to shoot 62. Honestly, and I lost track of where I was, which is the goal each and every day. Trying just to not — I think at times I focus too much on score or a leaderboard or where I am or what I need to do. I’ve just been really working on just kind of really staying present and just whatever the shot required.

“Today, you know, I guess you could say that I missed the second shot at 18, but other than that, one drive at 11, I didn’t really miss many shots today. Hit a lot of them exactly the way I wanted to, and to get on these greens and feel good and know the ball’s starting where I want to, you can make a few putts.”

After a seven-under 65 tournament host Steve Stricker set the all-time record among all PGA TOUR-sanctioned Tours for most consecutive rounds of par or better(53), breaking his tie at 52 with Tiger Woods; the streak began on June 26, 2022 with a final-round 6-under 65 at the 2022 U.S. Senior Open Championship (finished solo-second).

“It really wasn’t on my mind, but anytime you can pass Tiger Woods in something that, and I may text him and just remind him that I did pass him.

“No, seriously, I’m proud of that. I would have rather done that on the regular Tour, but to do it out here is even special, too.”

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