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Darren Clarke eyes ‘huge’ Senior Open win after hanging on to lead at midway stage


Darren Clarke. Credit: Phil Inglis/Getty Images

Darren Clarke. Credit: Phil Inglis/Getty Images

Getty Images

Darren Clarke. Credit: Phil Inglis/Getty Images

Darren Clarke admitted he would love to add Senior Open glory to his Claret Jug at home, however he’s not getting carried away by his halfway advantage at Sunningdale.

The Dungannon man, who held a share of the lead after the first day, bounced back from three straight bogeys early in his second round to card a three-under 67 to move onto eight-under, one clear of Jerry Kelly and Bernhard Langer at the top.

Only three players — Gary Player, Bob Charles and Tom Watson — have won both trophies and Clarke would join them if he could convert his slender advantage tomorrow, however the 52-year-old is remaining level-headed as he attempts to close out his first senior Major title at the Berkshire course.

“It would be huge. But we’re all long enough in the tooth to know we’ve only played two rounds, there’s a lot of golf to be played yet,” said Clarke.

“I would love to have this trophy sitting beside the Claret Jug, but I need to go and work on some of my iron play if I want to be in the mix on Sunday.

“I deserved to make three bogeys in a row. But I was hanging in there, made some good swings all the way in and gave myself some opportunities that I took. Pleased I got back to eight-under.”

At the Evian Championship in France, Stephanie Meadow and Leona Maguire both made the cut at the penultimate Major of the year at three-under.

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Meadow picked up three birdies in her final four holes to card a three-under 68, while Maguire added a one-under 70, which has the Ulster pair in a tie for 25th going into the weekend.

Korea’s Jeongeun Lee6 was outstanding on day two as she carded 10 birdies on her way to a 10-under 61 at the Evian Resort to reach 15-under, which has her three shots clear of Thai duo Ariya Jutanugarn and Pajaree Anannarukarn at the halfway stage.

On the European Tour, Cormac Sharvin missed the cut by five shots at the Cazoo Open at Celtic Manor after a three-over 74 left him seven-over altogether.

At the Italian Challenge, Michael Hoey and Tom McKibbin are both tied for 25th at three-under, however that is nine shots back of Frederic Lacroix.

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