Sunday, November 13, 2005

Clarke defends Taiheiyo title


Darren Clarke has retained his Taiheiyo Masters title in Japan. Rolling in a 30ft eagle putt on the 18th enabled the man from N.Ireland to finish with a 68, -18 in total, two ahead of Japan's Mitsuhiro Tateyama.

The event was Clarke's first appearance since pulling out of the Volvo Masters to to return home to his wife Heather, who is battling cancer.

"That's the first time I've defended a title successfully," he said. "I look forward to trying to make it three in a row next year."

The win was also hailed by Tiger Woods whose father has also been suffering from cancer as well as having a heart attack.

"Darren is one of my best friends and it's good for him," said Woods, after finishing second in the HSBC Champions tournament in Shanghai.

"The things that he's had to deal with I feel so sorry for him. I can relate a little bit because of what happened to my father."

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