Clarke left to rue late double at top-heavy Legends JCB

Mark McGowan

Darren Clarke and Ernie Els (Photo by Phil Inglis/Getty Images)

A closing double bogey-six on the 18th hole at JCB Country Club sees tournament host Darren Clarke slip to five strokes off the lead ahead of the third and final round of the Legends Tour event.

An opening one-under 71 at the difficult English midlands course was a solid return with just 18 players breaking par, and after trading two birdies with two bogeys on the front side of round two, the 2011 Open champion moved into contention with back-to-back birdies on the par-4 12th and par-5 13th holes and lay just two-strokes off the lead.

But disaster struck on the last, a long sweeping right-to-left dogleg par-4 that plays significantly uphill. Clarke would eventually card a double bogey-six and sign for a level-par 72 that sees him tied for ninth with 18 holes to go.


Englishman Peter Baker holds the 36-hole lead after putting back-to-back three-under 69s together. Baker holds a one-stroke advantage over Vijay Singh whose 68 was the joint-lowest round of the day.

The Fijian three-time major winner and former world number one briefly got to -7 for the tournament after an eagle and four birdies in his opening 13 holes but would give two strokes back to the course on the difficult closing stretch.

Completing the big names in the top four are four-time major winner Ernie Els and reigning PGA Champions Tour Order of Merit champion Steven Alker. The South African will be left ruing a sloppy back nine which he covered in three-over having navigated the front side in -4, while New Zealander Alker moved into position with a three-under 69.

Indian Jeev Milkha Singh lies solo fifth at -3, with reigning Senior Open champion Alex Cejka and former Ryder Cup star Niclas Fasth one further back on -2.

Among those joining Clarke at -1 is Colin Montgomerie, whilst John Daly fired a two-under 70 to climb to a tie for 19th at +1.


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