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Golf: I'm now fit not fat, says new-look Clarke

Published on Jan 10, 2014 6:14 AM

DURBAN (REUTERS) - Former British Open champion Darren Clarke reaped an early reward from a new fitness regime with a three-under-par 69 in the opening round of the Volvo Golf Champions tournament on Thursday.

The Northern Irishman, without a tournament victory since his Open triumph at Sandwich two and a half years ago, shrugged off the blustery conditions to fire five birdies and two bogeys to finish two strokes behind leader Raphael Jacquelin of France.

Clarke, ranked 297th in the world, attributed his good start at the first European Tour event of the year to the fact he has lost almost 20kg in weight in recent months.

"I got to the autumn and looked at myself and the word fat sprang to mind so I decided to do something about it," the 45-year-old told reporters at the Durban Country Club.

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