GOLF: Former champion Darren Clarke hopes to make The Open at Roryal Birkdale

Darren Clarke during the Irish Open at Portstewart
Darren Clarke during the Irish Open at Portstewart

Former champion Darren Clarke expects to be fit for next week’s Open Championship, in spite of pulling out of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open with a knee injury.

Clarke, who carded an opening round of 80 at Dundonald Links, withdrew as a precaution and is optimistic of taking his place in the field for the year’s third major at Royal Birkdale.

The 48-year-old Northern Irishman has not made a halfway cut since last year’s Open at Royal Troon and has failed to register a single top-10 finish on the European Tour since his Open victory at Royal St George’s in 2011.