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Tour News (posted 7th August 1998)

Darren Clarke withdraws from USPGA Championship

Darren Clarke, second on the European Order of Merit and in his last two tournaments, has pulled out of next week's United States PGA championship.

The Ryder Cup Ulsterman misses the final major of the season in Seattle to be with his wife Heather and new baby son Tyrone, born on Monday.

Clarke, eighth in the US Masters in April and joint runner-up in last year's Open, lost by a shot to Australian Stephen Leaney in the Dutch Open two weeks ago and by two strokes to Jesper Parnevik in the Scandinavian Masters on Sunday.

Clarke's manager Andrew Chandler said: "Heather is not coming out of hospital until tomorrow at the earliest and that doesn't leave Darren enough time to acclimatise fully to the west coast of America.

"He's decided that to go into the tournament badly prepared would not be the best thing.

"He's not done anything golf-wise this week and he thinks it best to get himself right and then go for the Order of Merit title."