Golf: Darcy defies the pain

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EAMONN DARCY, the 46-year-old Irishman who has suffered from back trouble for the past 10 years, shot a superb four-under-par round of 67 to share the lead during the first round of the Lancome Trophy in Paris yesterday.

Darcy, who included three birdies and an eagle three at the eighth on his card, said: "Without the physio here on the European Tour I would not be playing.

"I have disc trouble and have to have a massage before I play each day. This has kept me going and kept the problem at bay.

"But I had a bit of trouble this morning. I was first off and I got here at 6.30 to have a massage and there was no one here at all.

"So I had to come back later and had only ten minutes instead of my customary half- hour," Darcy added. "But 15 minutes with the masseur is better than one hour on the practice ground for me."

Darcy said that he was delighted with his round. "I kept the ball in play and think I hit almost every fairway," he said. "I also putted OK.

"This is my last tournament of the year. I intend to have about six months off and will not play again until Dubai."

Greg Turner, of New Zealand, also came in with a 67 along with Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez, Australia's Stephen Allan and England's Derrick Cooper.

Turner had just one birdie in an outward 34 but also birdied the second, sixth and ninth to make his score. Jimenez turned in 34, two under par, and then had further birdies at the tenth and 14th. Fred Couples, Lee Westwood and Nick Faldo all went round in 70 while Bernhard Langer slumped to 74.

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