Churchillian Clarke gets the cigar with Mallorca win
Inspired by a wartime quote by Winston Churchill, Darren Clarke emerged from the wilderness to claim his 13th European Tour title at the Iberdrola Open on a windy final day at Pula Golf Club in Mallorca.
“Never give in,” the English statesman told the boys of Harrow School in 1941 as the threat of Nazi Germany loomed large. “Never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”
A tad dramatic where golf is concerned but it served Clarke well on a difficult day as he came from four strokes behind stablemate Chris Wood to card a one under par 69 and win by three for his first victory since the 2008 KLM Open.
“This is a monkey off my back after three years without winning,” Clarke said. “I have had a few chances and spurned them but today I just ground it out. Things are coming back in place. This is a stepping stone for me.”
As an added bonus, he also leapt 36 places to 88th in the world.
Shane shines in Mallorca with record 63
If Saturday is moving day, Shane Lowry hit warp speed in Mallorca when he blasted a course record equalling 63 to race into contention for his first tour win as a professional in the Iberdrola Open.
Tied for 30th and 10 shots off the lead when he went to bed on Friday night, Lowry’s putting and patience finally came together on the same day as he racked up an eagle, six birdies and just one bogey in a seven under par effort.
By day’s end the 2009 Irish Open champion was tied for second with Darren Clarke, who bogeyed the last for an even par 70, and just four strokes adrift of leader Chris Woods on five under par.