Senior Open: Darren Clarke four behind at Royal Lytham after battling 73
Darren Clarke remains in contention at the Senior Open after he battled to a three-over-par 73 in wet conditions at Royal Lytham on Saturday.
Clarke, 50, drove out of bounds to double bogey the second but a birdie at the 17th left him on one under par and four behind leader Paul Broadhurst.
Englishman Broadhurst leads US player Woody Austin by a stroke.
Clarke, sharing ninth, is aiming to become only the fourth man to win both the Senior Open and Open Championship.
The Dungannon man opened opened his round with a birdie at the par-three first but then came his mishap at the second as he carved his drive way right and out of bounds.
As the rain began to fall heavily, Clarke steadied his round with five pars as he left a couple of chances just short before a bogey at the eighth was followed by another birdie two at the ninth.
A couple of missed greens which were followed by heavy handed bunker shots contributed to his three bogeys in seven holes from the turn but he rolled in a 15-foot birdie effort at the 17th and was just shy with another chance on 18.
Broadhurst, Senior Open champion in 2016, fired an impressive 67 in the wet conditions with Austin one behind after a 68.
Two more Americans Ken Duke and Wes Short Jr are two behind with another former champion Bernhard Langer and Australia's David McKenzie alongside Welsh duo Stephen Dodd and Phillip Price a further stroke back.
Scotland's Colin Montgomerie and Paul Lawrie are in a group sharing 17th place - six off the pace.
Five-time Open winner Tom Watson announced after carding a 72 on Saturday to lie 11 off the pace that Sunday's round would be his final competitive appearance in Britain.
The 69-year-old also won the Senior Open in 2003, 2005 and 2007.