Clarke, Jacquelin tied at English Open

June 8, 2002 at 4:41 PM
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WARWICKSHIRE, England, June 8 (UPI) -- Darren Clarke and Raphael Jacquelin, two men with history of success in the tournament, shared the lead Saturday after two rounds of the English Open.

Clarke, the English Open winner in 1999 and 2000, carded a third-round 68 for a 13-under 203 to join Jacquelin, who finished runner-up last year. The Frenchman stormed to the top with a 65.

They were one shot clear of Denmark's Soren Hansen and local favorite Steve Webster while two other Englishmen, Justin Rose and Sam Walker, were one shot further off the pace at 11-under 205.

Clarke, trying to become the first player to win the English Open title three times, appeared set to lead on his own after a flawless first 16 holes, the highlight coming at the 12th where a 5-iron to inside four seet set up an eagle.

A birdie at the next hole gave him the lead outright at 14-under, but a poor drive and an errant approach shot at the 17th led to a bogey to bring him back into a tie with Jacquelin.

"That was a little bit disappointing because the 17th was the only poor tee shot I had hit all day," said Clarke. "Hopefully, I will be leading on my own tomorrow and not sharing the lead, but there are a lot of very good players out here.

"I have been hitting the ball well for some time now. But I haven't been able to turn it into the scores. I am now starting to do that. Sometimes it clicks and sometimes it doesn't, but as soon as it clicks into place, I am off and running."

Jacquelin's round featured 10 birdies and three bogeys. It was his lowest score on the European Tour this season.

"It was a very strange day because I didn't drive as well as I did on Thursday or Friday. I missed a few fairways, but the putter was very hot," he said. "I think I made 24 putts, which is pretty good putting statistics for me."

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