Clarke in contention in South Africa

By Brian Keogh

Darren Clarke follow his second round 65 with a battling 67 to lie just three shots off the pace entering the final round of the Joburg Open.

The Ulsterman, without a tour victory since 2003, had six birdies and two bogeys in a four under par effort on the East Course at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club.

At eight under par, Clarke is tied for fourth place, just three strokes behind South Africa's Mark Murless.

Murless carded a 69 to take a two shot lead over Tyrone Ferreira of South Africa, Pablo Larrazabal of Spain and Germany’s Sven Strüver into the final round.

Clarke is determined to make a comeback this year after slumping to 229th in the world.

But he confessed that there is still plenty of work to be done on improving his game.

He said: "The round was pretty good, even if I didn't play as well as I did yesterday. It was a grinding day again, really.

"You have to shoot for under-par here to give yourself a chance. To shoot four-under par the way I was driving, was good, but I'll have to go to the driving range and put some work in."