In praise of Clarke and Grace

Two sub-70 scores at the weekend gave Darren a nice send-off into a mini-break before heading to Houston and his final build-up to The Masters - once his putter warms up, as it will, expect him to feature more prominently at the sharp end of the leaderboard

Chubby Chandler
In praise of Clarke and Grace

Several of our players impressed me in Miami last week, but I want to say a few extra words of praise for a couple who finished a bit lower down than the ever-impressive Charl Schwartzel.

While Charl continues his outstanding march up the world rankings, Darren Clarke and Branden Grace were making giant strides of their own at the WGC Cadillac event at Doral.

 

It’s been a frustrating time professionally for Darren since his magnificent win at The Open, but his desire has never wavered.

Two sub-70 scores at the weekend gave him a nice send-off into a mini-break before heading to Houston and his final build-up to The Masters.  Once his putter warms up, as it will, expect him to feature more prominently at the sharp end of the leaderboard.

As for Branden, what a turnaround after starting his first WGC event with an unfortunate opening 78 which left him at the wrong end of the field. To follow that with a performance which took him closer to the top than bottom was outstanding.

The highlight of his week was a Saturday, eight-under 64, which only one player bettered all week, Branden was understandably nervous at the start, but proved just how quickly he learns and adjusts with a solid finish which promises much.

As for Charl, he is everything I expected him to be and his fourth place propelled him to a career-high sixth in the world. He will go higher than that I am convinced... and very soon. Expect another strong week from him in Tampa.

Busy times ahead on both sides of the Atlantic and with The Masters just around the corner, there is plenty to look forward to.

Now I’m hoping to have as much good fortune at Cheltenham this week as our golfers have had already this season.

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