Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Golf Masters

The Masters 2016: Misery for Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell as they fail to cut it

By Liam Kelly

While Rory McIlroy was hunting down Jordan Spieth in yesterday's second round at the Masters, the luck of the Irish was not in evidence elsewhere.

Ryder Cup skipper Darren Clarke waved goodbye to the Augusta tournament and he won't be shedding any tears as a miserable score summed up his adventures on the famous course.

After an 84 yesterday, he leaves Augusta on 16 over par.

A frustrating second round included four double bogeys and five bogeys.

Clarke has failed to recapture the stunning form he showed when winning the 2011 Open at Royal St George's and his five-year exemption gained from his Claret Jug victory finishes this year.

Similarly, Graeme McDowell was snubbed once more by this venerable course.

Speaking before the tournament began, he revealed his unrequited love affair with Augusta which just does not gel with his game, however hard he tries. McDowell gave himself a chance of making the cut with his opening 72, but yesterday it was reverse gear as he slumped to 81 and nine over par.

That left two Irish competitors in the field - Shane Lowry and McIlroy.

Lowry said he would have to slap himself in the face if he started thinking prematurely about donning the green jacket tomorrow afternoon - but the golf course effectively did that for him early in round two yesterday.

Lowry started the day on four under par, two adrift of Spieth, as he went looking for early momentum. The great par save he made on the tricky par-four first on Thursday helped set up a run of four consecutive birdies from holes two through six in round one. Yesterday brought a totally different start for Lowry, with bogey, bogey on his first two holes, suggesting that anything Augusta surrendered on Thursday, it would reclaim yesterday.

Lowry said: "It's a long way to go around this place. You're only ever a bad bounce away from a bit of a disaster, so you've just got to keep your head on."

Meanwhile, Ernie Els revealed his fellow players had given him "funny" looks after his battle with the dreaded 'yips' resurfaced in heartbreaking fashion.

Els started his opening round by six-putting the first hole for a nine, the highest score recorded on the 445-yard par four in tournament history.

The 46-year-old admitted he was embarrassed to play out his struggles on the biggest stage, but restored some pride by adding a second round 73 to his opening 80, which included four birdies in the space of eight holes.

"I slept okay but this morning I felt really down when I got to the course," the four-time Major winner said.

"People give you a funny look. You feel quite embarrassed."

Belfast Telegraph

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.


From Belfast Telegraph