Howard CLARK

Howard Clark - England - Biography of his golfing career.

Photo/Foto: George Herringshaw

Date: 22 July 1976

Click on image to enlarge

    • DATE OF BIRTH
      Thursday, 26 August 1954
    • PLACE OF BIRTH
      Leeds, England
  • INTERNATIONAL
  • England
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Howard CLARK - England - Biography of his golfing career.

 1970s. Ryder Cup debut in 1977 & great year of 1978.

 

Leeds-born Howard Clark joined the paid ranks shortly after his impressive performance in the 1973 Walker Cup at Brookline. His first couple of years on tour were not easy though as he struggled to 53rd in the 1974 Order of Merit and the following year he slipped further to 73rd. Clark improved to 22nd in 1976 and his good form continued into the following year where a rise of a further six places saw him into the Ryder Cup team. It was not a happy experience though as he was overlooked for both the foursomes and four-balls and was then comfortably beaten 4&3 by Lanny Wadkins as the Americans won 12-7 at Royal Lytham. The following year was by far the Yorkshireman's best yet.

 

He won his first title when netting the Portuguese Open and ended the tournament as the only player under par. His rounds of 71,75,71 & 74 left him at one under and he followed that up with victory at the Madrid Open. He shot 70,70,72 & 70 to finish the week at six under par and pocketed a cheque of £4,067 to go along with his Portuguese winnings of £5,000. In between those two triumphs Clark was narrowly beaten into second place by Brian Barnes' brilliant final round 64 in the Spanish Open at El Prat. He finished in third place in the prestigious British PGA and the consistent northener also had a fine run of six consecutive top eight finishes. By the end of the 1978 season Clark had amassed £32,739 and was in a highly impressive 5th place in the Order of Merit. After his memorable 1978 Howard endured a rather disappointing season in '79 and he missed out on the Ryder Cup which was contested by the first ever European team. (David Scranage)

 

 

 Picture of Howard Clark taken in summer 1981 by George Herringshaw.  ©

 

          1980-88. Returns to winning ways in 1984, Ryder Cup glory in 1985 & 1987.

 

Howard Clark was to endure something of a barren spell after his magnificent year of 1978 and it was not until 1984 that he was victorious once again. He did,however,make the 1981 Ryder Cup team and provided one of the highlights for the European team when crushing reigning Masters champion Tom Watson 4&3 in the last day singles. The Yorkshireman's only other appearance saw him partner Scotsman Sam Torrance to a half point in their game with Tom Kite and Johnny Miller. Therefore Clark finished as the only unbeaten player on the European team and could consider himself somewhat unfortunate at his limited opportunities.

 

The Madrid Open was the venue where Clark returned to winning ways,finishing with an impressive total of 14 under par and pocketing £14,188 for his troubles. He followed that up with victory in the British PGA Championship and by the end of the year Clark was in his best ever position of third in the Order of Merit with a total of £139,344. The Leeds man continued his fine form through the next few years winning on no less than seven occasions between 1985-88. In 1985 he triumphed in the Jersey and Glasgow Opens and the following year saw him lifting that favourite tournament of his,the Madrid Open,for the third time.

 

He further showed his liking for Spain by lifting the Spanish Open later that same year with a total of 16 under par. In 1987 Howard captured the Moroccan Open and the PLM Open and the next year saw him pick up he biggest pay cheque yet of £30,000 for his victory at the English Open. The Yorkshireman featured in both the 1985 and '87 Ryder Cups and helped the European team to two memorable triumphs as they finally wrestled the famous old cup away from the Americans. (David Scranage)