Clarke recovers from rough start, birdies four out of last five holes in second round at Southern Hills
Fortunately for Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke, his long Friday ended much better than it had started. He had nine holes to play to complete his second round, and promptly made a quadruple-bogey 8 on the 451-yard first hole. He said he completely lost his touch and four-putted.
“I haven't had a snowman for I don't know, what?” he said. “I haven't had a four-putt, should I say, for a very long time. It was one of those, I was, I just got it out, it was a comedy of errors. But I just completely misjudged the speed of the green. It was way faster uphill than what any putt that I've been hitting downhill was out here before I went out and I hit it 4 foot past, and hit it 4 foot past, and then I was sort of I’ll finish, I'll finish, I'll mark.’ But I was the worst in the field with the putter, and I struggled all the rest of the way around.”
Clarke was 7 over for the tournament when he stood on the 14th tee. He then holed a bunker shot for birdie to get something going; he hit 8-iron to 4 feet for birdie at 15; hit 7-iron to 3 feet at 16; hit 3-wood into a greenside bunker and got up and down for birdie at 17; and made par at 18 to shoot 68. At 3-over 143, he was well inside the cutline, which Friday afternoon was hovering near 6 over par.
“Got it back a little bit,” he said. “But then it's tough, it's a major, it's supposed to be tough, but it's tricky, it's really, really tricky out there. To get the wind -- and here, if you get the wind wrong, there's a couple of places where you can't afford to hit it, and unfortunately I did that.”