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December 11, 2005

Darren Clarke


JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Darren, for joining us for a few minutes here in the media center. I know it was kind of a disappointing day, but all in all, it was a good week.

DARREN CLARKE: Yeah, all in all it was pretty good. Today was obviously disappointing. I swung it pretty poorly all day and it was going left a bit, and then bogeying two holes of the last three was not really the way I wanted to finish. I should have went out last night.

Q. Kind of unlucky on the last par 5?

DARREN CLARKE: Well, you know, as I said, I was fighting it left all day. Not big left, but just enough to get myself in difficult, tricky positions to get up and down, and just sort of caught a big hill on 16, and then the last well, I can't believe I missed it that far. Hit it all over the place, lack of alcohol.

Q. Luke was pretty far back at the start. At what point were you aware that he was becoming a factor?

DARREN CLARKE: Oh, I don't know. I wasn't really paying that much attention. I was having to work too hard on my own game to worry about anyone else's.

Q. Was there a particular shot today when you thought you were going to be struggling with your swing?

DARREN CLARKE: Not really. I struggled all day with it. We got off to a decent start, but then I was having to grind it out and grind it out and grind it out. The par 5s on the back nine have been good to me all week, and the three places that I missed them today I didn't get particularly good lies. But I still had a couple of chances, didn't knock in the putts and just basically didn't play well enough to win.

Q. Luke has been a good player for a while. Is this going to help him for '06 do you think?

DARREN CLARKE: Obviously he played fantastic today to shoot 64 and get the win, which is great for him. I think he'll get stronger and stronger.

Q. Any regrets from Thursday night on?

DARREN CLARKE: Only last night (smiling).

Q. What did you do last night?

DARREN CLARKE: Nothing (laughter).

Q. And your golf, as well, you finished very strongly, as well?

DARREN CLARKE: Yeah, I put myself in position to win again. I went first, second, second the last three tournaments. I'm disappointed to finish the way I did today; two bogeys out of three was not very good. The one on 18 didn't make any difference, but the bogey on 16 was a little bit of a disappointment. I hung in there and played not bad.

Q. What was the lie on 16 and what was the best you could hope for on the first chip?

DARREN CLARKE: Get it on to 20 feet, 25 feet. I couldn't get it near the hole.

Q. Did you have to aim away?

DARREN CLARKE: I had to aim away from it, yes, and the ball was sitting up this high (indicating six inches) in the grass six inches. I didn't realize until I hit it afterwards. It was sitting up very high and I went under it. That's why I came up short. But I was doing the right thing, chipping it to 25 feet.

Q. You hit a 3 wood in there?

DARREN CLARKE: Yeah, just tugged it a little bit.

Q. What's the missing piece?

DARREN CLARKE: Two days' worth where it went really well and two days where I didn't swing it quite so well. To finish second was not bad. I can't be too hard on myself. Yes, I'm disappointed, but I'm not going to be too hard on myself. As I said to you early in the week, it's not really that important. I would have liked to have won, but it's not that important. Tiger has given me a nice enough Christmas present.

Q. Besides Luke, there weren't really a lot of low scores today. Was the course noticeably tougher today?

DARREN CLARKE: Just tricky, yeah, just tough to get close to the flags. It was tough to get it close there and make the putts for birdies.

JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Thank you. Have a nice holiday.

End of FastScripts.

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