Clarke's Masters class

Darren Clarke birdied two of his last four holes for a 71 to make the cut with ease in his 13th Masters.

“I played nicely both days,” said the 46-year old, who had four birdies and three bogeys to match Graeme McDowell on one over. "I had a couple of silly mistakes, but that’s Augusta and those sort of things happen. 

"I stayed patient and hit a couple of really good shots towards the end and managed to pick up a couple of birdies.”

Level through nine holes after birdies at the second and ninth canceled out bogeys at the fifth and seventh, Clarke bogeyed the 11th but made a two putt birdie at the 15th before holing an a1-footer at the last.

“The 15th I hit a good drive and then a hit a cutty little five wood and nearly pitched it in the hole and it ended up about six feet behind the flag,” he said. "I hit a good putt but it just missed, so easy birdie. On the last I hit driver seven iron and it almost went in.”

Far from making up the numbers, Clarke is determined to make some noise.

He said: “I want to compete and put some scores on the board. I’ve been playing better of late so I just need to keep on doing what I’m doing. 

“Augusta is always tough, it’s a very stern examination, so this is a good way to start the year in the majors.”

As for Jordan Spieth, who leads with a record 14 under par total after rounds of 64 and 66, Clarke said: “I don’t know what course Jordan is playing but it’s not the same one I’m playing. Wow.”