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Darren Clarke misses Irish Open Killarney cut

By Gordon Hanna

Newly crowned British Open champion Darren Clarke sensationally crashed out of the Irish Open yesterday.

Clarke nosedived from four-under par after four holes of the second round to finish the day on one-over for the tournament in Killarney.

But, with the cut coming at one-under par, he wasn't the only big name to bite the dust in over the testing Killeen course.

Three times Major winner Padraig Harrington was also a victim after shooting a 72 for a three-over par total of 145.

But Portstewart amateur star Paul Cutler and Michael Hoey with Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy (pictured) are keeping the flag flying for Northern Ireland.

Cutler and Hoey go into today's third round sitting on six-under par, four adrift of late finisher Marcel Siem of Germany who fired a second successive 66 for the lead.

Soren Hansen of Denmark and Jeev Milkha Singh of India are one shot behind on nine-under.

McDowell and McIlroy are locked on four-under and primed to make a surge up the leaderboard, with Rory insisting he had no regrets over his bust-up with commentator Jay Townsend that made headlines around the world.

A disappointed Clarke said: "I just couldn't get going. I missed two four footers in a row."

But the big man refused to make excuses and admitted: "I played average and putted average. I had a tough day.

"I just couldn't get anything going at all and a weekend off is not what I wanted.

"I was not physically tired but maybe a little bit mentally tired.

"A couple of days off won't do me any harm albeit I would much prefer to be here to play."

Popular Clarke has had a huge following in Killarney and his shock exit is a major blow to the tournament after record crowds flocked to see him.

Belfast Telegraph


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