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July 19, 2014

Darren Clarke


Q. Lovely round today?
DARREN CLARKE: Yeah, I played nicely all day today. Gave myself lots of chances. Made a few, missed a few. The rain was pretty heavy at the start. But I think we got a break with the weather; it wasn't supposed to be as good as what it's turned out to be. There's opportunities there. In saying that, they've hidden a lot of flags away behind bunkers. You can make mistakes very easily if you're not careful.

Q. (Inaudible.)
DARREN CLARKE: Yeah, just kept hitting it close, and then had a silly three-putt on the third from just off the edge of the green, and managed to hole a 40-footer on the next one to get it straight back again. So it was good. I played nicely. I've been playing okay for quite some time. Today I holed a couple of putts and managed to keep some momentum going.

Q. What is it about you and this championship?
DARREN CLARKE: Well, I enjoy it. It's the biggest and best tournament in the world. I enjoy playing links golf and The Open Championship is one that I always look forward to playing from the start of the year.

Q. Right or wrong decision to have the two-tee start this morning?
DARREN CLARKE: Well, I think obviously it's easy to say now that it was the wrong decision looking at the weather that we've had thus far. But if they have a couple of bolts of lightning in the next couple of hours, it's going to mess everybody's day up, isn't it? They've had to do what they had to do to try and get it done today, and they're trying to do what's best for the tournament. So there can be no blame apportioned at all to the R&A for that.

Q. Is there something about just coming to The Open, that might spur what you need?
DARREN CLARKE: As I said to you earlier, I'm not as fat as I was. So my timing, it took me a little bit of time to adjust to that. The ball-striking has been pretty good. I just need to knock in a few putts and get some momentum going. It feels like I've started to do that.

Q. (Inaudible.)
DARREN CLARKE: I have. Well, they're probably just from off the edge of the green. But I'm definitely starting to putt a lot nicer again. So that's always good. It's difficult to hit good shots to the green. When you hit it to six feet, seven feet, feet and keep missing them, that's particularly frustrating, but I managed to make a few this week, which is good.

Q. Might be too far back to challenge. But tomorrow what would be the result (inaudible)?
DARREN CLARKE: I've just got to go play. I think we're going to have a little bit of wind forecast for tomorrow. I'll just go and play and do my best and see what that is. I just want to keep on hitting the ball the way I am.

Q. (Inaudible.)

Q. What makes it good?
DARREN CLARKE: I think -- I don't know what makes it as difficult. All the courses in The Open rota are sensational golf courses. They're all very different. And this one, you know, we've only had good weather the first day, a bit of breeze yesterday, and then good weather again in terms of wind today again. Hoylake hasn't really bared its teeth thus far. But if it blows tomorrow, it could be a different story, because there are tough holes out there if the wind blows the way it should do.

Q. (Inaudible.)
DARREN CLARKE: I don't know, eight months, something like that. Seven months, maybe. Seven months, something like that.

Q. Did you realize that was the problem?
DARREN CLARKE: I hoped it was the problem, never mind realize it was the problem. If you've got 50 pounds or 60 pounds sitting in front of your gut, you're going to swing a lot slower through the ball than what you would do otherwise. And I kept leaving the club behind me. And I've done a few things this week. The club's got back in front of me again, so it's been better.

Q. (Inaudible.)
DARREN CLARKE: Not quite Jane Fonda's workout, but I'll probably go to the gym this afternoon and lift some weight.

Q. How long?
DARREN CLARKE: 20, 25 minutes.

Q. (Inaudible.)
DARREN CLARKE: I'll probably have a couple of glasses of wine, but that's about it. I'm not a teetotaler angel or anything, far from that.

Q. (Inaudible.)
DARREN CLARKE: Yeah, in 1990 a played the Irish Open and my grouping was Sam Torrance and DJ Russell, and I finished 36 holes with them and made the cut, and Sam told me, "You need to turn pro sooner rather than later, and you need to start working with my dad." And I did. And I spent many, many days and hours everything with Bob up on the range up there. And he was -- Bob was a very, very special man. And I would not be the golfer that I am without the help of Bob Torrance. He will be sadly missed on the turf but he was a character. Difficult to understand at times. For those of us who knew him. But he was a great man. And the world is a worse place without Bob Torrance.

Q. (Inaudible.)
DARREN CLARKE: He definitely could. But whilst he was doing that, sometimes it might have been difficult to decipher what he was telling you you were doing wrong. But that indeed is Bob Torrance. That was Bob Torrance. Certainly, as I said, the game of golf has lost a huge part of it.

Q. (Inaudible.)
DARREN CLARKE: I don't know, depends what the weather is going to be like. It depends. Bit of breeze. Yeah, but obviously how many under is Rory now, 13? How many ahead is he, two, three? Is he? I don't know. The leads, it's a difficult thing, one ahead. So you never know. In windy conditions you never know what's going to happen on links. He's obviously playing very, very well. And it will be interesting day tomorrow.

Q. (Inaudible.)
DARREN CLARKE: It was different. It was different. Whenever I was told last night, when we were having dinner over at Chubby's house, that we were going to have a two-tee start. I used a bit of foul language and called them a liar. So they were proved right. So it was slightly different because we've never done it before at the Open Championship. It's one of the beauties, you get good tee times, you get bad tee times. But they had to do it today, and it looks like they've made the perfect call.

Q. Did your club head change?
DARREN CLARKE: Club head speed and ball speed both changed faster. I've got slightly stiffer shafts than I used before.
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