Clarke leaves bad shots to the range

Darren Clarke has a third win of the season in his sights at the Lancÿme Trophy in Paris despite being completely baffled by how well he is playing. The 32-year-old Ulsterman walked off the driving range in disgust earlier this week after only hitting five shots. Now, though, he has somehow managed to compile rounds of 67, 70 and 67 to lie just two shots off the lead held by Germany's Alex Cejka here.

Darren Clarke has a third win of the season in his sights at the Lancÿme Trophy in Paris despite being completely baffled by how well he is playing. The 32-year-old Ulsterman walked off the driving range in disgust earlier this week after only hitting five shots. Now, though, he has somehow managed to compile rounds of 67, 70 and 67 to lie just two shots off the lead held by Germany's Alex Cejka here.

Cejka carded a third-round 66 for 11 under par, with Clarke in joint second alongside South African Retief Goosen and Scottish pair Dean Robertson and Stephen Gallacher.

"I haven't hit many balls at all on the range. I hit five on Thursday and walked off," Clarke admitted after a round containing six birdies and one double bogey in testing, windy conditions. "I don't know how I'm going to play every time I go out. I've been hitting it terrible on the range so I just go out and see how I get on. I practise and practise and practise and don't get any better and whenever I don't practise I score okay. It's a bit beyond me.

"I have won before when not happy with my swing but not feeling quite as uncomfortable as I do at the moment. But I hit some really good shots today that surprised myself."

His only blemish came at the 11th, where he hooked his drive behind trees and fired his third shot over the green, eventually taking a six that cost him a share of the lead.

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