Clarke Shares English Open Lead
Jun. 07, 2002
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MERIDEN, England (AP) _ Darren Clarke kept a share of the second-round lead in the English Open Friday, but criticized officials for keeping players on the Forest of Arden course during an hour-long rain delay.
The Northern Irishman completed a 2-under-par 70 to finish the day deadlocked at 9-under-par with David Drysdale of Scotland, who had a 67.
Phillip Price of Wales was one shot back after a second successive 68.
Heavy rain through the middle of the day left several greens and fairways under water and forced the suspension with Clarke on the 10th fairway.
But instead of calling the players in, officials told them to remain on the course ready to resume as soon as the water in flooded areas was cleared.
Clarke was incensed.
``I understand what they were trying to do, get everyone finished tonight, and that is fine,'' he said. ``But I think to keep us standing out there for an hour was not right.
``I feel I wasted probably three shots round the back nine and I put that down to having to stand and wait for an hour without the opportunity to go and hit a few balls and get warmed up again.''
Drysdale, in his first full year as a pro, fired six birdies in his round against a single bogey. He birdied all four par-5s on the 7,213-yard course.
``It has been a long process to get where I am, but I'll take it as it comes,'' Drysdale said.
Price was back in contention again after finishing a distant third in the British Masters last Sunday, when he led going into the final round.
Three Englishmen, last Sunday's British Masters champion Justin Rose, Mark Roe and journeyman pro Darren Prosser, finished 7-under.