Originally created 09/12/98

Clarke leads while Woosnam fires back-nine 28



COVENTRY, England -- Darren Clarke, vying for the lead in the European rankings, shot a 1-under 71 Friday for a share of first place at the $1.24 million British Masters.

But his round was overshadowed by Ian Woosnam's spectacular turnaround.

Clarke had a 6-under 138 total and was tied for the lead with Spain's Carl Suneson, who fired his second straight 69.

But Woosnam's back nine of 8-under 28 was the highlight of the second round on the par-72 Forest of Arden course.

The former world No. 1, who had opened with a 3-over 75, fell to 6-over before finishing with a 66 for 141.

The two-time British Masters champion's back nine included four consecutive birdies, an eagle and two more birdies.

"At 6-over I nearly went off and rang my pilot to tell him to get the plane ready for an early return home," Woosnam said.

"I don't think I've ever shot 28 for nine holes before in a tournament."

Clarke is still on track to replace Lee Westwood as No. 1 on the European tour. He was $9,000 behind Westwood going into the tournament and a win would ensure him the No. 1 spot with only four events remaining.

Westwood was at 143 after a second-round 70, while Colin Montgomerie, five-time European No. 1, was at 142 after a 72.

Clarke and Suneson are one stroke ahead of Argentina's Eduardo Romero and Sweden's Jarmo Sandelin.

Spain's Ignacio Garrido also should have been 5-under but he was given a four-stroke penalty for having an extra club in his bag.

"My caddie's been practicing for the tour pre-qualifying next week and left his five-iron in the bag by mistake," Garrido said.

Justin Rose missed the cut for the sixth straight time since turning pro.

The 18-year-old, who turned pro after his fourth-place tie in the British Open in July, shot a second-round 70 for 150.

He now has the German Masters to win at least $90,750 to qualify for an automatic tour card and avoid qualifying school.