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Last Updated: Monday, 5 February 2007, 13:42 GMT
Clarke drops out of world top 50
Darren Clarke
The death of Clarke's wife clearly affected his form and ranking
Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke has slipped out of the world's top 50 for the first time in a decade.

The 38-year-old's 20th-place finish at the Dubai Desert Classic on Sunday saw his ranking drop from 47th to 51st.

Although a hero of the European Ryder Cup win in September, the time he took out of golf to care for his ill wife was always going to affect his ranking.

Meanwhile, Henrik Stenson's victory in Dubai helped him rise into the top 10 for the first time in his career.

The Swede beat world number one Tiger Woods and world number four Ernie Els, who finished third and second respectively, and the win marked a remarkable turn-around for the player.

In 2002, a woeful run of form took its toll on Stenson as he fell to 176th on the European Order of Merit.

But, after also playing a key part in Europe's Ryder Cup success, the 30-year-old has now jumped up from 14th to 10th in the world.

England's Luke Donald remains the top European, lying in eighth spot ahead of Ireland's Padraig Harrington in ninth.

SEE ALSO
Clarke's sporting victory
25 Sep 06 |  Golf


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