Golf: Clarke on the mark with birdie barrage

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The Independent Online
DARREN CLARKE hit birdies at four of the last six holes in the BMW International Open in Munich yesterday. The Irishman shot a second- round 69 to join Bernhard Langer at the top of the leaderboard on 136, eight under par.

Langer came in with a 68 as did Seve Ballesteros, who is one shot back. Andrew Collison, the assistant professional at King's Lynn, joined Ballesteros on 137 when he fired a splendid 66.

England's Jeremy Robinson, Phillip Price, of Wales, and Spain's Domingo Hospital, who holed in one with a six-iron at the 199-yard eighth, are on 138.

Clarke changed the heads of his clubs this week and weakened his grip. The effect has been astounding. 'I'm really playing well now,' Clarke said. He would have been a clear leader had he not taken three putts at both the 16th and 18th, which were his seventh and ninth holes as he began at the 10th.

He had seven birdies on his card and today will play with Langer, who beat him by two shots when they played together in the Honda Open two years ago.

Langer has won every important German tournament except this one. After his round which included six birdies, he said: 'It would be nice to complete the set but there is a long way to go. I'm hitting the ball well but I do not like this intense heat.

'I did not grow up in a hot country despite the fact that it is very hot in Germany this week.'