Clarke shoots 70, off to South Africa

British Open champion Darren Clarke completed his final round –

a 2-under-par 70 – at the Australian PGA on Sunday more than an

hour before the leading groups teed off.

Clarke’s early start – the second group of the day at 6:35 a.m.

– came after a self-described ”brutal” 79 on Saturday, leaving

him near the bottom of the 66-man field which made the cut.

Clarke, who’s traveling with the claret jug that he won at The

Open championship at Royal St. George’s in July, finished with a

3-over 291.

Next week he plays the Nedback Challenge at Sun City, South

Africa, followed by the European Tour’s season-ending Race to

Dubai, and then an Asian Tour stop in Thailand.