BBC Sport golf


Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 09:11 GMT, Sunday, 27 April 2008 10:11 UK

Clarke claims dramatic Asian win

FINAL LEADERBOARD (GB & Ire unless stated)
-8 D Clarke -7 RJ Derksen (Ned) -5 R Dinwiddle, W-T Lin (Tai), F Molinari (It)
-4 H Stenson (Swe)
Selected others: -3 J Bickerton (Eng) -2 P Lawrie (Ire)
-1 P Broadhurst (Eng)

Darren Clarke
Clarke produced a sensational finish to capture the title

Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke holed a long birdie putt on the final green to win the Asian Open - his first European Tour title for five years.

Clarke carded a one-over-par 73 for eight under to finish one stroke clear of Dutchman Robert-Jan Derksen.

"I've been working harder than ever on all aspects of my game. It's nice to see it pay off," said Clarke.

England's Robert Dinwiddie shared third place with Franceso Molinari and Henrik Stenson after a 74 in Shanghai.

None of the chasers were able to mount a serious challenge to the leading pair, who were only one stroke apart at the start of the final round, with 39-year-old Clarke in front following his superb 67 in the third round.

From the the 14th onwards I lost my concentration - I started thinking about Heather and the boys

Darren Clarke

He dropped a shot at the short third and Derksen took the lead with a birdie at the next, only for Clarke to respond with one of his own on the 5th.

Another birdie at 10 again gave Clarke the edge and although he took a bogey four at 14, Derksen lost two strokes to par after chipping through the green and into the water.

The title seemed to be firmly in Clarke's grasp but he missed a four-foot birdie opportunity at 15 and then three-putted from the back of the 16th green, missing a two-footer for his par.

He made a mess of 17 as well, driving into the trees and then hitting his approach through the green before narrowly missing his putt for a four to the left of the hole.

But Derksen eased the pressure by finding sand from the final tee and Clarke responded with a magnificent drive which found the centre of the fairway.

His Dutch rival retrieved a par with a superb chip from off the green to card a 73, but Clarke, who lost his wife Heather to cancer in 2006, read his own 25-footer perfectly and rolled it in for an emotional triumph.

"It was always going to be a difficult hurdle for me to get back into the winner's enclosure after Heather passed away - it's a big mental hurdle that I have crossed today," he said.

"From the the 14th onwards I lost my concentration. I started thinking about Heather and the boys [sons Tyrone and Conor] and other bits and pieces.


"In this game, unless you keep your concentration for the whole way around, you make mistakes and that's what I did.

"On the last green I gathered myself and said: 'Right, hit a good putt'. Luckily I did. It was tracking [to the hole] from about six feet out. Sometimes they are just meant to go in."

see also

related bbc links:

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites