Darren Clarke in action earlier this year. Picture Stuart Adams /www.golffile.ie Darren Clarke slipped back into the pack afer a disappointing second round at the Australian PGA Championship in Queensland.

The Open champion carded a rollercoaster, one-over par 73 to trail leader Marcus Fraser by nine strokes on two-under par at the Coolum’s Hyatt Regency course. (Scores)

Fraser shot a flawless seven-under 65 to lead by two shots from American Bubba Watson, who hit a 68 on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, north of Brisbane.

“I felt like I played great over the last couple of days and finally got the putter working the way it should be and it’s nice to see the ball drop, so hopefully that continues over the weekend,” Fraser said.

“Hopefully a few butterflies and nerves creep in, because that is what I’ve always practised to try and win golf tournaments.”

Clarke opened with a bogey at the first and finished with a bogey at the 18th. In between, he produced a mixed bag by combining birdies at the third, fifth, 10th, 16th and 17th with double bogeys at the ninth and seventh.

He was also easily outscored by his playing partners Adam Scott and Greg Norman who shot rounds of 67 and 69 respectively.

Scott is tied for fourth place, four off the pace on seven-under while 56-year old Norman is tied 28th, a shot better than Clarke, on three-under.