>> click here for more articles

Clarke poised for victory in Japan

Darren Clarke took a step closer to claiming his second title in Japan when he moved into a four shot lead after the penultimate round of the Mitsui Sumitomo VISA Taiheiyo Masters at the Taiheiyo Club in Gotemba.

The 36 year old Ryder Cup player, who won The Crowns Tournament in Japan in 2001, carded a third round 67 for an 18 under par total of 198 to increase the lead he had held since day one to four shots over his nearest challenger Nozomi Kawahara.

Clarke had been flawless during his second round 65 and although his third round 67 featured a bogey at the short 12th where he missed the green and failed to get up and down, he more than made up for that with birdies at the third, sixth, seventh, 11th, 16th and 18th.

There was further good news for the European Tour contingent in Japan when Clarke’s ISM stablemates Lee Westwood and Graeme McDowell also enjoyed productive third rounds.

Westwood matched Clarke’s 67 to move into a share of third place on 12 under par 204, while Clarke’s fellow Ulsterman McDowell posted a third round 68 to move into a tie for seventh place on ten under par 206.

Courtsey of: www.europeantour.com

>> click here for more articles