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Thu Apr 24 10:29:23 SAST 2014

SA's Clark back in form

Michael Sherman, Sapa | 25 June, 2012 12:150 Comments
Travelers Championship - Round Three
Tim Clark plays out of the rough onto the 18th green during round three of the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands on June 23, 2012 in Cromwell, Connecticut
Image by: Jim Rogash / Getty Images

Tim Clark produced only his second top-10 finish in the last two seasons with a share of fourth place in the Travelers Championship on Sunday.

Clark’s 12-under 268 total came courtesy of a final-round three-under-par 67, ending two shots behind Australian winner Marc Leishman at the TPC River Highlands course.

The South African started round four with birdies on two of his opening three holes, before a bogey on the par-five sixth set him back.

He bounced back, however, with a birdie on the par-four seventh to see him out in two under.

Coming home, he threw in consecutive birdies at the 11th and 12th holes, but he made a crucial error on the 17th where he missed a short putt for par, dropping two shots off the lead heading to the final hole and effectively ending his challenge.  

Clark, not the longest hitter, found his trademark accuracy off the tee in the final round, missing only one fairway, and was also first in sand saves for the week — with a perfect record of getting the ball up-and-down out of the bunkers.  

The 36-year-old from Umkomaas has struggled since the beginning of 2011 with debilitating tendonitis in his right arm and played only four tournaments last season.

Coming into the week, Clark had competed in 10 official PGA Tour events in 2012, making the weekend on four occasions, with his most recent missed cut coming at the US Open.

Three other South Africans made the cut in Connecticut, with Rory Sabbatini the next best in a tie for 18th. The highlight of Sabbatini’s round was a hole-in-one at the par-three 16th.  

Clark’s fellow Umkomaas Golf Club player Garth Mulroy was further down in a share of 29th.

Louis Oosthuizen rounded out the South African contingent as he settled for share of 47th.

Meanwhile, on the European Tour, Keith Horne dropped from fourth position overnight with a final-round three-over 75 to end in a tie for 12th spot on seven-under 281 at the BMW International Open in Cologne, Germany.  

Horne, who won the Telkom PGA Championship on the Sunshine Tour in February, struggled in difficult conditions in round four with cold temperatures and persistent rain.

Further down, in a share of 33rd at three under, was 22-year-old Dylan Frittelli in his debut tournament as a professional.

Fritelli struggled at the weekend, but thanks to opening rounds of 69 and 68 he was able to make the cut in his first event, signalling the start of a bright future.

Richard Sterne was a further stroke behind on two under, in a tie for 38th place on the leaderboard.  

Thomas Aiken finished the week tied 54th on one over par.  

James Kingston struggled to a five-over 77, settling for a tie of 69th.

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SA's Clark back in form

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