Birthday boy Clarke bids for trophy glory

LANCASHIRE Boys’ champion Oliver Clarke celebrates his 16th birthday today with a three-way share of the lead going into the second round of the McGregor Trophy at Radcliffe-on-Trent.

OLIVER CLARKE

OLIVER CLARKE

The Formby player carded a two-under-par 68 matched by fellow England international Matty Lamb and Warwickshire’s Luke Northwood on a day when only seven player better the tough par of 70.

All three were morning starters but conditions didn’t appear to change after lunch, the layout still requiring straight driving and accurate approach shots to deliver a low score. Northwood, 16, a member of the Warwickshire under 18 team, played to those criteria.

Clarke, who had five birdies, said: “I’m happy with that. I played solidly, missed just three fairways and had to chip out sideways on two of them. These greens are very good. The ball runs true and I’m looking forward to tomorrow for two reasons.”

In the opening skirmish for the Nations Cup with the best two scores to count in each round, the England No.1 team are on 136 and the No.2 line-up returned 141.

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