Clarke on his way back to SA for Africa Open

IRISHMEN Darren Clarke and Paul McGinley return to South Africa to compete in the Africa Open at East London Golf Club from January 7 to 10.

IRISHMEN Darren Clarke and Paul McGinley return to South Africa to compete in the Africa Open at East London Golf Club from January 7 to 10.

A regular visitor since 1991, Clarke captured the imagination of the local sporting public when he challenged Retief Goosen over the closing holes of the 2009 Africa Open.

In 2008, a tie for third at the SA Open and a fourth at the Joburg Open, kick-started Clarke's return to form after two difficult years. He went on to capture the BMW Asia International and added the KLM Open to take his international winning tally to 16 and finish the season ranked 13th in Europe. He was unlucky to miss out on the season-ending Dubai World Championship by a single spot after he finished 61st on the inaugural Race to Dubai rankings.

A strong performance at the 2010 Africa Open could put him back on the winning track.

The Ulsterman will not be chasing points only for the Race to Dubai but a spot in the Ryder Cup side at Celtic Manor Resort in Wales next October. The field will be boosted by four European Tour champions: Nick Dougherty, James Kingston, Richard Sterne and Oskar Henningsson. - Sapa

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