DARREN CLARKE IS three shots off the lead at the halfway mark at the Volvo Golf Champions event in South Africa.
The Tyrone golfer shot a one-under par round of 71 to sit on -4 after his opening two rounds. Padraig Harrington, who had photographer Pat Cashman as his emergency caddy this afternoon, and Simon Thornton are both on -2. Michael Hoey is further adrift at +1.
Shot of the day at the Durban Country Club was an epic albatross from Joost Luiten. The Dutchman hit a booming drive over 300 yards on the par five 10th but was still 250 yards shy of the pin. His approach was on-target and raced 60 feet up the 10th green before disappearing from sight.
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Luiten picked up three shots for the shot, which helped him to a round of 67 and a share of the tournament lead.
Clarke, meanwhile, is pleased that his new fitness regime is paying off. “I’m feeling strong,” he said. “I reached 10 today, whatever it was, hit it 300 off the tee into the wind and hit driver from 285 to 12 feet and I couldn’t have reached there maybe five, six months ago. So hopefully it will pay off.”
Asked, rather candidly, how much weight he had lost, Clarke replied, “Enough but a little bit more won’t do any harm.”