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May 20, 2016

Darren Clarke

Straffan, Co. Kildare, Ireland

Q. You've got great memories of this place, and to be here for two more days is obviously good.
DARREN CLARKE: I played better than my score. I'm not competitively sharp and that showed in the first two days. But I hit a lot of good ones but I've got to go work on a couple things on the range. There's still a professional golfer inside me somewhere.

Q. Obviously there's a Ryder Cup Captain inside you, as well. Well into the year, how has it been so far?
DARREN CLARKE: Busy to say the least but a lot of good things. Trying to make sure that everything we can do at this early stage is done, to make sure when the guys get there in September and they are as comfortable as they can be and we have the preparation done.

A lot of things go on behind the scenes that you wouldn't really think about but the Tour have got a wonderful team at The European Tour led by Richard Hills and Julia Fischer-Wasels. They have done many Ryder Cups before. Obviously for me, this is my first one, and they have been leading me by the hand somewhat and they have been incredible people to work with, and I feel very fortunate to feel I have got a team such as them behind me.

Q. So far has the job been what you thought it would be?
DARREN CLARKE: More so. More so. This is supposed to be the easy bit. The hard bit is when we get there. We'll see. It's going to be very exciting. The team is going to change a lot in the next couple months with these big money events.

There's a long way yet before the team is finalized but I'm sure the 12 guys that do get on the plane to Hazeltine will be a very, very strong team and hopefully good enough to retain the Cup.

Q. A bit of a mixed bag out there, double-bogey, but you recovered well with three birdies in four holes?
DARREN CLARKE: Yeah, slightly misjudged my tee shot to the third, which was the 12th hole today. Hit it in the water and made double from there. My back was against the wall at that stage, but I fought on and burned it out and got myself back under par a few times. A lot of good, but still because I'm not playing that much competitive golf, I'm making silly mistakes but that's to be accepted. It doesn't mean I like it any and I enjoy it anymore than that, but mistakes are going to happen because I'm not really playing that much.

Q. But you're here for the weekend. That must be good.
DARREN CLARKE: Yeah, don't really know what to do on Saturdays and Sundays at a golf tournament. Usually I've been here watching a bit. This time I get to play.

Q. What do you have to work on on the range?
DARREN CLARKE: I drove the ball poorly. Swing-wise I've got a couple things to do. Around this golf course, I know it that well; if you miss fairways, you're going to struggle and unfortunately that's what I did the first two rounds.

Q. Does it feel strange being out there playing because you've had so much Ryder Cup stuff to do?
DARREN CLARKE: Yeah, it does. There's a lot of it going on but I'm fortunate to be Ryder Cup Captain, so that's much more important than my own golf right now. My heart and soul is going into The Ryder Cup and my own golf, my personal golf is second at the moment. If I do play half-decent, that's a bonus.

Q. Nice to be back at The K Club?
DARREN CLARKE: Definitely, what Rory has done with The Irish Open, bringing his foundation in, starting a few years ago to bring it to what it is now -- you hear the roars and shouts out there, we are fortunate to have one of the best in the world at The Irish Open and long may it continue.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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