x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Bad weather will be good news for Clarke

British Open leader hopes winter training will stand him in good stead.

Darren Clarke is looking forward to some bad weather for the rest of the British Open at Royal St George's as he goes into Saturday's third round in a share of the lead.

Clarke, 42, carded a second-round 68 yesterday, which included an eagle, five birdies, three bogeys and one double bogey, posting a halfway total of 136, four under par, to share top spot with Lucas Glover, the American.

The Northern Irishman, who has never won a major title, is confident his experience of playing in tough conditions will boost his chances.

"There's an awful long way to go yet, and I believe the forecast for the weekend is very, very poor, which I quite look forward to.

"The course is going to play very, very tough. If that's the case, then the tournament is still wide open for an awful lot of players. There's still two days of tough golf and tough weather ahead of us.

"It's a case of getting used to playing in bad weather on links again, and that's what I've been doing all over the winter at home. Hopefully, it will stand me in good stead."

Glover followed up his impressive first round 66 with a solid par 70 yesterday, hitting 14 pars. He was, however, frustrated by his putting.

"I actually hit it better than I hit it yesterday, just didn't make as many putts," Glover said. "You know you've got to put those two together to win a big tournament like this.

"But I've become comfortable. Originally, I wasn't, I'd get mad if one rolled into a bunker or bounced off the green when I hit an average shot.

"But if you don't hit the shot you're supposed to here you get penalised."

Behind the lead duo, Chad Campbell, Martin Kaymer, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Thomas Bjorn, the co-leader after the first round, are all one shot adrift on three under.

Rory McIlroy, the pre-event favourite after his dominant showing at the US Open last month, is four shots back on even par after a round of 69.