Clarke holds off McGinley to win KLM Open


European TourZANDVOORT, Netherlands ' Darren Clarke ran off three straight birdies from the 10th en route to a 4-under 66 Sunday, which helped him to a four-stroke win at the KLM Open.
Clarke completed the tournament at 16-under-par 264. He was one stroke off Tobias Dier's tournament record of 263. It was Clarke's second win of the season and 12th of his European Tour career.
'It's nice to come somewhere knowing that I had to play well and then actually do it,' said Clarke, whose two sons were at the tournament and saw him win in person for the first time. 'We try to get ourselves to play as well as we can every week.'
Paul McGinley fired a 6-under 64 to take second place at 12-under-par 268.
Neither Clarke nor McGinley is qualified for the European Ryder Cup team, but their 1-2 finish could help them gain a captain's selection for team captain Nick Faldo.
'I have two weeks to impress Nick and show him I'm playing okay. The first week is out of the way and I seemed to have done that,' Clarke stated.
Henrik Stenson, the sixth-ranked player in the world, birdied the first three holes to take the early lead, but stumbled on the back nine as he hit just four fairways en route to a 2-under 68. That left him alone in third at minus-11 at Kennemer Golf Club.
Stenson ran off three birdies in a row from the first to jump to 12 under, one stroke clear of Clarke.
Clarke parred the first, but tripped to a bogey on the second to slide back to minus-11. However, he regained the lead from Stenson with back-to-back birdies from the fourth.
'I got caught in between clubs on the second...and got too aggressive there,' Clarke admitted. 'I knew I was swinging well and hit some really nice shots after that and knocked a few putts in.'
After Stenson tied Clarke for the lead on six, Clarke pitched his third to 3 feet at the par-5 seventh and rolled that in for birdie and a two-shot lead as Stenson bogeyed the hole.
Clarke caught fire around the turn. He birdied the 10th from four feet out and came right back with a kick-in birdie on No. 11. Clarke sank an 8-footer for birdie at 12 and that gave him a five-shot lead at 17 under.
After a pair of pars, Clarke missed the green at the par-3 15th and that led to his second bogey of the day. Stenson could have cut Clarke's lead to three, but he missed a birdie putt on 15.
Clarke parred the final three holes to secure the victory.
After falling behind with his bogey at the seventh, Stenson tripped to a double-bogey on the ninth to slide four back.
The Swede scrambled to three straight birdies from the 11th to get within four at 13-under. However, he bogeyed the 14th and 18th and drop into third place.
McGinley birdied three of the first five holes to get to 9 under. Around the turn, he jumped to 12 under with a birdie on 10 and an eagle at the 12th. The Irishman bogeyed the 13th for the third time this week, but recovered that stroke with a birdie on No. 14. He parred out to take second.
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