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The Star Online: Sports

Clark's elbow passes the test in Par 3 Tournament

Posted: 07 Apr 2011 01:47 AM PDT

AUGUSTA, Georgia (AP) - Tim Clark was 2 under at the Par 3 Tournament, significant not so much because of the score or the event, but the fact the South African played golf.

It was his first competition since he finished second at the Sony Open in Hawaii three months ago.

Clark has been coping with a severe and mysterious injury to his left elbow, which has kept him from even hitting full shots until Tuesday on the practice range at the Masters. There's still no guarantee he will play in the Masters on Thursday. He first wanted to get through the Par 3 and make up his mind.

In that respect, at least he finished. "I've started to get better the last two weeks," he said. "In the last few days, they might have found something that's causing the problem. It could be a pinched nerve in my neck that's the root of the problem. I'm hoping that's the case."

After returning from Honolulu, and when he woke up after his first night at home, his elbow was throbbing. He tried a cortisone shot a few weeks later, and it didn't get better. Clark actually flew out to Pebble Beach, but he could tell on the range he couldn't play.

He even tried blood spinning, a painful process that "hurt like crazy." It didn't help.

Clark was in good spirits before the Par 3. Two weeks ago, he felt he had no chance of playing the Masters. A week ago, he had hope. And on Wednesday, he hit full shots on nine holes.

He plans to tee it up Thursday, although his expectations are next to nil. Without having hit full shots in three months, he lacks strength in his arms. Also doubtful is defending his title in The Players Championship next month.

"We'll see how it goes," Clark said.

Only after he was done talking about his elbow did he mention the best news of all during his absence. His wife gave birth to their first child Friday, a 6-pound boy they named Jack.

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Querrey upset in Clay Court Championship

Posted: 06 Apr 2011 08:41 PM PDT

HOUSTON (AP): America's Ryan Sweeting escaped six break points in the final game to upset second-seeded countryman Sam Querrey 3-6, 7-6 (5) 6-3 in the second round of the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships on Wednesday.

There were 11 total service breaks in the match. The players broke each other in seven consecutive games, spanning from the last five games of second set through the first two games of the third.

Sweeting survived 18 of 24 break points. Querrey lost three points on his serve in the tie-breaker, including a double-fault for set point.

"I just don't feel comfortable on clay yet," Querrey said. "I need to just put a couple of weeks of practice in there and get ready for the next tournament."

Fourth-seeded John Isner of the United States downed Argentina's Horacio Zeballos 7-5, 6-3, while Teymuraz Gabashvili of Russia defeated eighth seeded Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria 7-6 (4), 6-3.

Qualifier Ivo Karlovic of Croatia boomed over 12 aces to beat Igor Kunitsyn of Russia 6-4, 6-1.

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