Clarke slump continues

By Brian Keogh

Darren Clarke is in danger of dropping out of the world's top 100 after missing the cut in the BMW PGA at Wentworth.

Ranked as high as world No 8 six years ago, the accident prone Ulsterman has slipped six spots to 93rd.

As Padraig Harrington remained at world No 11, Clarke is now the 24th ranked European and even trails German veteran Bernhard Langer, who has jumped 47 places to 86th.

Clarke injured his right hand in a off-road buggy accident nine days ago but will reappear in next Monday's 36-hole US Open qualifier at Walton Heath.

The Dungannon man needed a top-two finish in the BMW PGA to climb back into the world's top 50 and earn an exemption for next month's US Open at Oakmont,

But the Ryder Cup star crashed out on Friday and has not made a halfway cut in a tournament since the Malaysian Open in early February.

It was his fifth missed cut on the trot in addition to pulling out of two events in America and then withdrawing before the start of Irish Open last week.

The last time Clarke lined up in a qualifier was at Ladybank in Scotland before the 1995 Open championship.

He qualified that time and finished 30th at St Andrews.

Former Ryder Cup skipper Langer, 49, narrowly missed out on his first victory in five years in the Crowne Plaza Invitational in the US on Sunday.

The two-time Masters champion lost out in a play-off with South African Rory Sabbatini and Jim Furyk at Colonial with Sabbatini making a birdie on the first hole of sudden death.

Graeme McDowell also fell six places to world No 122 in the latest rankings while Paul McGinley slipped five spots to 133rd despite making the cut at Wentworth.

Peter Lawrie, who tied for 12th at Wentworth, is now just one spot behind Damien McGrane at 253rd in the world.