By John Manley
Darren Clarke made his first stateside appearance since his match play victory over Tiger Woods at La Costa several weeks ago, but he was unable to mount a serious challenge to the world’s top-ranked player, who won the Bay Hill Invitational in Orlando, Fla.
Clarke tied for 42nd place at one-under-par 287 (72-68-72-75), 17 shots behind Woods’ winning 270.
Clarke earned $10,800.
Padraig Harrington was also in the field, but failed to clear the cut line of 144 or better.
Harrington shot 146 (74-72).
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On the European Tour
Peter Lawrie had his best showing on this circuit with a 14th-place finish in the Madeira Island Open at Santo de Serra in Portugal.
Lawrie shot 286 (72-72-70-72), two under par.
Niclas Fasth took medalist honors with 279.
Farther down the leaderboard was Paul McGinley, tied for 46th place at 291.
Unable to make the cut (148 or better) were Des Smyth, 149 (77-72), Ronan Rafferty, 151 (77-74), and Gary Murphy, 152 (77-75).
John Kernohan is on the comeback trail and would have shown better in the Monterrey Open, played at the Club Campestre in Monterrey, Mexico, had it not been for a two-over-par 74 in the third round. Kernohan tied for 56th place with a 72-hole score of 285 (71-70-74-70), good for earnings of $1,406.
Briny Baird’s 268 proved the winning number.
Conor Mallon hinted at a run at the top spot in the Hooters Classic at Pebble Creek in Taylors, S.C. with a first-round 71, but making the cut became a priority during the second round. Mallon finished that frame with a 76, leaving him two strokes to spare.
The third and final round of this rain-plagued event proved even more frustrating for Mallon, who shot 79 to finish 10 over for the tournament at 226, good for a tie at 54th place.
He earned $744.80.
Richard Coughlan had even less luck than Mallon did, missing the cut by three strokes. Coughlan shot 152 (73-79).
Mike Tschetter was the champion with a score of 209.
James Loughnane settled for a share of second place in the Cock of the North Tournament at Zambia’s Ndola Golf Club. Loughnane shot 218 (76-73-69), just a stroke behind Titch Moore, the medalist.
North Florida PGA
David Higgins produced a pair of top 10 finishes in a pair of events sponsored by the North Florida PGA. Higgins finished second at the Continental Country Club in Wildwood, firing 134 (68-66), just a stroke behind Takashi Kamiyama’s winning 133.
Higgins picked up $1,000 in prize money.
He then tied for sixth place at the Poinciana Resort in Kissimmee, coming in with 144 (74-70).
Brian Unk’s 137 won this event.
Higgins pocketed $393.