Clarke fails to make most of bright start in Durban

Darren Clarke
Darren Clarke

Darren Clarke lost a bit of ground on the leaders after the second round of the Volvo Golf Champions in Durban.

Clarke, who opened with a three under 69 carded a second round 71 and trails the leaders, Joost Luiten, Louis Oosthuizen and Tommy Fleetwood by three shots.

The 2011 Open Champion went to the turn in three under 33 with birdies at the first, third, fourth and eighth offset by a bogey at the sixth.

That bright start had helped Clarke into a share of the lead but he failed to record a birdie on the back nine and dropped shots at the 11th and 14th.

Simon Thornton carded a second round 71 and at two under par is five behind the leaders heading into the weekend.

Padraig Harrington is also on two under par after a second successive 71.

Three-time major winner hailed the skills of his stand-in caddie after regular bagman Ronan Flood needed medical treatment during the second round of the Volvo Golf Champions on Friday.

Flood, who is also Harrington’s brother-in-law, was suffering from food poisoning before the round and eventually had to call it quits on the sixth hole of Durban Country Club.

He was taken to the clubhouse to be treated by a doctor and is expected to be fit to resume his duties on Saturday, although stand-in Pat Cashman has offered his services if required.

Cashman, 65, is a photographer for the Golfing Union of Ireland who has known Harrington for 35 years and was in the gallery following his fellow Irishman while in South Africa on holiday.

Michael Hoey is back down the field on one over par after a second round 73.