Tough draw for Clarke

Open champion Darren Clarke has been drawn alongside England’s Justin Rose and Robert Rock in the group stages of this week’s Volvo World Match Play Championship at Finca Cortesin near Marbella this week.

Open champion Darren Clarke has been drawn alongside England’s Justin Rose and Robert Rock in the group stages of this week’s Volvo World Match Play Championship at Finca Cortesin near Marbella this week.

Clarke’s slide to 70th in the world meant he was one of the eight “outsiders” in the 24-man field drawn alongside the top 16 seeded players.

Defending champion Ian Poulter now knows he will have to take on young English compatriot Tom Lewis as well as Australian John Senden.

Lewis led The Open as an amateur last July and then won the Portugal Masters on only his third start as a professional. It was a victory which earned him his place in this week’s event.

England’s other player taking part is Yorkshireman Richard Finch, whose third-place finish at the China Open last month got him in as top two Branden Grace and Nicolas Colsaerts were already qualified.

Finch, the lowest-ranked player at 218th in the world, will meet top seed Martin Kaymer, the other member of the world’s top 10 present.

Draw (seeded positions in brackets based on world rankings):

Group 1: (1) Martin Kaymer, (16) Rafael Cabrera Bello, (24) Richard Finch

Group 2: (4) Graeme McDowell, (13) Robert Karlsson, (20) Jbe Kruger

Group 3: (2) Justin Rose, (15) Robert Rock, (19) Darren Clarke

Group 4: (3) Charl Schwartzel, (14) Nicolas Colsaerts, (18) Retief Goosen

Group 5: (5) Sergio Garcia, (12) Alvaro Quiros, (22) Tetsuji Hiratsuka

Group 6: (8) Ian Poulter, (9) John Senden, (23) Tom Lewis

Group 7: (6) Peter Hanson, (11) Paul Lawrie, (21) Camilo Villegas

Group 8: (7) Brandt Snedeker, (10) Thomas Bjorn, (17) Branden Grace

After round-robin matches top two in each group progress to last 16: Winner Group 1 v Runner-up Group 2, Winner Group 2 v Runner-up Group 1, Winner Group 3 v Runner-up Group 4, Winner Group 4 v Runner-up Group 3, Winner Group 5 v Runner-up Group 6, Winner Group 6 v Runner-up Group 5, Winner Group 7 v Runner-up Group 8, Winner Group 8 v Runner-up Group 7

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