Friday, July 09, 2010


Darren Clarke's flawless 65 gives him one shot lead 

Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke will carry a one-shot lead into the second round of the Scottish Open after carding a six-under-par 65.
Clarke made six birdies during an unblemished round, to finish ahead of England's Graeme Storm, Italy's Edoardo Molinari and Irishman Damien McGrane.
The 1995 Open winner John Daly is the star name among those on four under.
Ernie Els, who has twice won at Loch Lomond, is on two under while Masters champion Phil Mickelson recorded 71.
Northern Ireland's US Open champion Graeme McDowell also finished on par, along with Ryder Cup hopeful and last year's winner Martin Kaymer of Germany.
Republic of Ireland's Paul McGinley had a poor day, shooting a 74 which matched the score of Colin Montgomerie, who will captain Europe in the Ryder Cup in October.
Clarke is aiming to clinch the one remaining qualifying spot for next week's Open which is available to the highest top-five finisher at Loch Lomond who has not already qualified for St Andrews.
Meanwhile Daly, who is now 499 in the world, has an added incentive to win the £500,000 first prize as a result of owing about £700,000 in unpaid taxes in the United States.
"It's a struggle, but I'm not broke," said American Daly, who is no longer a US Tour card holder.
"But I'm only 44 and I still feel there's a lot of golf left. I still feel I have the talent and can still win.
"I'm very competitive. I feel inside I don't have a lot to prove to anybody but myself."
Storm, who fired in six birdies and dropped just one shot, attributed his good round to his new putter.
The 32-year-old commented: "I picked the putter up last week by chance really. I seem to have finally found one that suits me. I keep switching them and trying different things.
"It's been a bit of a frustrating period for me so hopefully this will continue for the rest of the week."
Meanwhile, Scot Gallacher was delighted to have posted a good total in front of his home crowd.
Obviously, one day I would like to be in the same team as my brother and play with him
"I've been playing well in recent weeks but haven't been holing putts," Gallacher stated.
"I got off to a good start, playing at 7.50am it was cold and windy and you have to take your chances. Thankfully I did that."
Italian Edoardo Molinari kept his dream alive of playing in the 2010 Ryder Cup with his brother Francesco after carding an impressive 66.
The pair claimed the World Cup title together in 2009.
Francesco, who is on three under, stands eighth, while Edoardo is 11th on the world points list from which the first four in Montgomerie's side will come.
"Obviously, one day I would like to be in the same team as my brother and play with him," Edoardo Molinari reflected.
"We did very well at the World Cup and I think we can play well together.
"Francesco definitely deserves to be in but I need a big win over my next five tournaments and good results to get in."



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