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Clarke still not sure how season will end

Darren Clarke, easily the best European performer this year, is facing an anxious wait. Not until Sunday night, when the US Tour's Chrysler Championship has been completed in Tampa, will he know whether he has qualified for one of the richest events in the game.

Clarke, who won the $1.05m (£670,000) first prize in the NEC Invitational in Ohio in August, is 25th on the US Tour money list. If he stays in the top 30 he will be eligible for next week's £6m Tour Championship in Houston (winner: $1.06m).

The Northern Irishman, with $1,906,041 won so far this year, is currently only $79,041 ahead of Shaul Micheel, the US PGA Champion, who is 31st But he should qualify. Steve Doughty, European Tour statistician, said: "All the US Tour players, from 18th to 49th, are in the Chrysler, hoping to ensure their places or earn their way in. But it would seem unlikely Darren will be overtaken by five or more players."

Clarke is not in Tampa because he is supporting the European Tour's closing event, the Volvo Masters at Valderrama, Spain, starting on Thursday. And he has an alternative to Houston in the Seve Trophy for Great Britain and Ireland against the Continent near Valencia next week.

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