Flesch’s stunning round of 62 secures first tour win this year, Clarke finishes tied for 40th

Conor Cantwell

Darren Clarke (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

Ireland’s sole representative at the PGA Champion Tour’s Ascension Classic, Darren Clarke, finished the tournament on three-under-par which left him with a share of 40th place, with Steve Flesch winning the tournament outright..

A goliath performance from Flesch on the final day of the competition secured a three-stroke victory for the American and set a new course record at the Norwood Hills Country Club course.

Flesch’s stunning round of 62 propelled the three-time tour champion ahead of overnight leaders Kevin Sutherland and Y.E. Yang with a score of 19-under-par at the charity event in St. Louis.


Darren Clarke started the day on two-under-par and tied for 44th overall. Although the majority of Clarke’s front nine was a slew of pars, consecutive birdies on the eighth and ninth helped the Northern Irishman gather some momentum as he began his return to the clubhouse.

Clarke notched another birdie on the 11th as it seemed like he would make a late charge towards the business end of the leaderboard. However, a bogey followed by a double-bogey succeeded his third birdie of the day undoing all his positive play from the middle of his round.

Even though the former major champion sank his fourth birdie of the day directly after his untimely double, a bogey-birdie finish meant he finished the tournament on three-under-par.

Steve Flesch on the other hand went above and beyond what was required of him on the final day of play in St. Louis, setting a new course record of 62 in his journey to the top of the leaderboard.

Several players mentioned that the scoring at the course this year was aided by the dryer and firmer course, and Flesch took full advantage!

The American began his round in exceptional form, sinking two birdies on either side of an eagle on the 524-yard par-five second – setting him up nicely for his round after starting four-under-par through three holes.

Another pair of birdies on the fifth and sixth gave the 33-year veteran another shot in the arm before starting his back nine. A birdie on the 11th before back-to-back birdies on the 15th and 16th made Flesch’s triumph an inevitability as he watched the field finish from the clubhouse.

After his sensational final round, Flesch reflected on his success and how special it was to have his son, Griffin, caddying for him in a successful endeavour.

“I got off to a great start today. Having my son on the bag – I added pressure on myself because I won last year in Atlanta with my daughter there.

“I won with my fiancé there at Pebble Beach last year, and I was like, ‘Well, Griff is on the bag, I’ve got to do it for Griff today’.”

The PGA Champions Tour returns next week in South Dakota for the Sanford International (15th – 17th of September.)

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