Sunday

Darren Clark Turnaround & Other Spanish Open Stories


It's been a little crazy at the Spanish Open these past several days, with a couple of pretty drastic reversals of fortune early on, (Johan Edfors was leading at one point, wasn't he?) and rather circuitous trip to the third round for Ryder Cup star Darren Clarke.

In the final stretch two Englishmen, Mark Foster and James Morrison, are vying for the lead with charismatic, big-hitting Spaniard Alvaro Quiros, the possibility of a playoff looming, while the idiosyncratic crowd that clamored to catch up throughout much of the day has thinned out somewhat.

Darren Clarke's awesome adventure en route to the weekend will probably the most talked about story of the tournament. Actually, I'm sure it wasn't so awesome for Mr. Clarke.

You see, the Ulsterman was actually under the impression he had missed the cut after the second round, so he took off to get home for the weekend... only once he got back to Surrey, he found out he was still in. So he had to get back to Spain. And getting back to Spain was complicated.

Rush hour traffic, flights missed by minutes, bank holiday, private jets... all came into play, but £10,000, 15 hours of travel and 53 minutes of sleep later, there he was in Malaga for his Spanish Open third round 8:45 tee time. Mr. Clarke, ultimately carded a third round 72, but after a restorative Saturday night manged a final round 69. The resilient player finished the tournament in a tie for 31st, demonstrating that sometimes the adventure can be more memorable (and more costly) than the destination.

Well. it looks like a playoff is in order! It'll be Alvaro Quiros & James Morrisen... and I will update you on the outcome.