Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke secured his 13th European Tour title with a three-shot victory over the English duo of Chris Wood and David Lynn at the Iberdrola Open in Mallorca.
Clarke began the final round four back of Chris Wood who led the field through 54-holes at nine-under-par. But the difficult, windy conditions made scoring challenging and the Ryder Cup vice captain quickly made inroads into the young Englishman’s lead. After Clarke birdied the 3rd and Wood opened with two bogeys in his first three holes, the gap was down to just a single stroke.
Wood’s lead remained one at the turn and, when Clarke made a double bogey at the 11th, it looked as though the Englishman might pull away. But the 23-year-old three putted on both the 12th and 13th holes then drove out of bounds on the 15th. Five bogeys in six holes from the 12th meant Wood fell back to just three-under-par.
While things were not going Wood’s way, Clarke was enjoying much better fortune on the course. He holed a huge putt from the back of the green for a birdie at the 14th then holed again, from off the green on the 17th to scramble a par.
Clarke finished with an excellent 69 and won by three from Wood and another English player David Lynn who posted a level par closing round of 70.
The 42-year-old Northern Irishman was delighted to be back in the winner’s circle again.
“It’s a bit of a monkey to get off my back after three years not winning so it’s good. At the same time I feel a lot for Chris Wood – he’s a young guy, a great player and I’ve been in his position before.”
Scotland’s Alastair Forsyth finished alone in fourth, ahead of a group of four players who were tied for fifth.
Pula Golf Club, Mallorca
May 12-15, purse €1,000,000, par 70
1 Darren Clarke (NIR) 65 70 70 69 274 €166,660
T2 David Lynn (Eng) 68 68 71 70 277 €86,850
T2 Chris Wood (Eng) 67 65 69 76 277 €86,850
4 Alastair Forsyth (Sco) 68 72 68 70 278 €50,000
T5 Paul Lawrie (Sco) 68 69 72 70 279 €33,100
T5 Graeme Storm (Eng) 71 71 67 70 279 €33,100
T5 Jose Maria Olazabal (Esp) 71 69 66 73 279 €33,100
T5 Shane Lowry (Ire) 72 70 63 74 279 €33,100
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage only
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