2011 Open champ Darren Clarke goes low in round three
By Bernie D'Amato under The Open Championship


Darren Clarke was just going about his business in the third round with seven straight pars before getting to the 17th. Clarke then put on a show with four straight birdies on holes 17, 18, 1, and 2. He bogeyed 3, and added two more birdies on 4 and 5 before cooling off with four pars to end the day. The amazing run in the middle part of Clarke’s round yielded a score of five-under 67.

Clarke said, “Just kept hitting it close, and then had a silly three-putt on the third from just off the edge of the green, and managed to hole a 40-footer on the next one to get it straight back again. So it was good. I played nicely. I’ve been playing okay for quite some time. Today, I holed a couple of putts, and managed to keep some momentum going.”

It seems as though Clarke is getting used to his new workout routine, “As I said to you earlier, I’m not as fat as I was. So my timing, it took me a little bit of time to adjust to that. The ball-striking has been pretty good. I just need to knock in a few putts and get some momentum going. It feels like I’ve started to do that.”

Many of the players in the field are wearing a black ribbon on their hats because Bob Torrance, a famed golf instructor, passed away on Friday at the age of 82.

Clarke was coached by Torrance, and said, “In 1990, I played the Irish Open and my grouping was Sam Torrance and DJ Russell. I finished 36 holes with them and made the cut, and Sam told me, “You need to turn pro sooner rather than later, and you need to start working with my dad.” And I did.”

He added, “And I spent many, many days and hours everything with Bob up on the range up there. And he was — Bob was a very, very special man, and I would not be the golfer that I am without the help of Bob Torrance. He will be sadly missed on the turf but he was a character. Difficult to understand at times, for those of us who knew him. But he was a great man, and the world is a worse place without Bob Torrance.”

–Bernie D’Amato