Clark wins first Tour title outside South Africa
BY Bruce Young | European PGA Tour | 2005 Scottish Open | Wrap | 11 Jul 2005
Tim Clark today capitalised on some rather impressive form of late when he won his first European tour event outside of his South African homeland, the Barclays Scottish Open. Given the strength in this field he will rise considerably from his current 26th word ranking position and has guaranteed himself his second Presidents Cup berth.
Clark recently finished third at Pinehurst after an opening 76, that performance further highlighting his elevated status in world golf in recent years. In 2003 he finished third at the USPGA Championship and was a member of the International Presidents Cup team that year but until this week had not won on either the USPGA or European Tour outside of his victories at home. This was his second win on the European Tour in 2005 having won the South African open in Durban earlier in the season.
Clark has shown a liking for Loch Lomond in recent years, finishing 3rd in 2002 and 5th last year and arriving here with such good form behind him, his confidence was high. “I know this course well and enjoy playing here. I have been putting well for a few months now and felt I could make a lot of birdies around here,” he said. He continues a great run by South Africans here at this course, Els and Goosen both having won the event previously.
Clark held off his namesake, albeit by different spelling, Darren Clarke when he won by two from the man from Northern Ireland who is showing amazing resilience at present, given the family illness issues that no doubt are preoccupying his mind. Clarke was tied with Martin Lafeber. who is on track for his best season in 2005. This was the Dutchman’s fourth top ten of the year and his second runner up finish.
Clark had a one shot lead playing the last but a birdie there saw him finish at 19 under and win by two.
Clarke made a brilliant start today when he opened with two birdies and an eagle in the first four holes to trail Lafeber (who had opened with two quick birdies) by one at that stage and share second with Clark. The eagle came at the fifth hole when he holed from the fairway. That momentum was slowed at the fifth with a bogey and although he got close he could not pick up the necessary birdies over the closing holes. Still it was a good lead in to the Open for Clarke and with him having twice finished inside the top three in previous years he might just fancy his chances next week.
Ian Poulter came from well back to finish on his own in fourth place. It was the best finish of the season for Poulter after a run of indifferent form in a year that has seen him trying to compete on both sides of the Atlantic.
Angel Cabrera kept his hopes for St Andrews alive with a good tournament for 5th as did Luke Donald although Nick Dougherty who joined them in 5th place will not be at St Andrews having failed to qualify. He must be frustrated by that, now that he is reasonable form again.
Ernie Els kept everyone aware of his chance for next week with a solid if unspectacular week when 11th. Adam Scott was once again the best of the Australians in 12th place, his last round of 71 on a low scoring day causing him to lose ground from his overnight 5th place.
Terry Price was 30th after a costly final round of 73 with Robert Allenby and Marcus Fraser 44th.