Clarke leaves the pack behind

Darren Clarke consolidated his lead at the rain-soaked Scottish Open in Loch Lomond today, sparking memories of his 2006 Ryder Cup heroics in similar sodden conditions.

Clarke was up to 10 under for 15 holes of his second round, with birdies on the third and fourth, leaving him four ahead of chasers Peter Hedblom of Sweden and Welshman Bradley Dredge.

Damien McGrane, who had earlier joined Clarke on the top spot, was still in touch on four under.

Both Irishmen are seeking the one place on offer into next week’s Open at St Andrews and McGrane birdied both the par fives on the front nine, the third and sixth, and would have led on his own but for a bogey at the fourth.

America's John Daly, wearing yet more psychedelic trousers despite the rain, overcame the loss of a ball on his very first shot of the day to stay in touch at two under.

Masters champion Phil Mickelson, who needs a top-two finish to unseat Tiger Woods as world number one, missed the cut after carding a disappointing 74 to end the day three over.

Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie missed a second successive cut with six over.

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