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July 8, 2005

Darren Clarke


SCOTT CROCKETT: Darren, thanks for coming in. 65, a fantastic finish to what's been a good morning for you. You must be delighted with that?

DARREN CLARKE: Yeah, I am. I got off to a very poor start this morning with a few very indifferent shots to say the least. I hit a lot of good shots, a lot of poor shots. Got to go to the range and figure it out and try to get a proper strike on the ball, which I don't quite have at the moment.

SCOTT CROCKETT: A sensational finish, that must make you feel good going into the practice session.

DARREN CLARKE: Yeah, some decent things at the end, but more work and a few hours on the range will hopefully clear up those shots tomorrow.

SCOTT CROCKETT: As you say, you didn't start well, what happened?

DARREN CLARKE: I hit driver off the tee and about two foot into the rough and a horrible lie. Tried to hit a 7 iron, shanked it, up short right of the green and from there to the bunker and hit it from the bunker to three feet and for bogey; a very good bogey that was.

13, I hit driver, 5 wood on to the green to about 30 feet and holed it for an eagle.

15, I hit 3 wood off the tee in the fairway, 8 iron, and it was just off the back edge, just off the edge of the green and chipped it in from 15 feet away.

16, I hit a good drive, pulled a 5 iron left of the green into the rough and chipped it to eight feet and missed.

3, I hit driver off the tee with a good drive, just caught the corner of the bunker, kicked left down into the bunker. Took a bit of a gamble and had to hit a high cut with a 5 wood and had to move it 30 yards from there. Hit it just short of the edge of the green, chipped it over the corner to eight feet and holed it for birdie.

6, I hit driver, driver, 20 yards short of the green in the rough, pitched it to five feet and holed it for birdie.

7, I hit driver, 9 iron just off the right fringe of the green, again about 15 feet and holed it for birdie.

8, I hit 9 iron to four feet and holed it for birdie.

9, I hit 5 wood, sand iron to six feet and holed it for birdie.

Q. Is it a case of you not really knowing what to expect at the moment?

DARREN CLARKE: Yes. But the answer, I don't know what's going on at the moment. My putting coach is over this week from America. He's here a little bit this week and next week. With all of my time off, I didn't have much time to work on my putting; whatever I was doing, I was mainly hitting balls. So my putting has gone off somewhat, so Stan is here this week.

Q. Monty said you only had 22 putts in your round today.

DARREN CLARKE: If that's what it was, I'm delighted. There was a couple just off the fringe of the green that were no putts, though.

Q. When did you hook up with Stan?

DARREN CLARKE: It was last year. You should probably know that more than I should.

Q. Wasn't it at one of the American tournaments?

DARREN CLARKE: I think it was. It was on Jay Haas's recommendation. Jay works with Stan as well. Jay said, "You should go and see Stan," and I did.

Q. Why should I know, I don't work with Stan?

DARREN CLARKE: I know you don't, but you know everything. That's what you'd have us believe. (Laughter).

Q. When did you see him?


Q. Yesterday?

DARREN CLARKE: He got in when did he get in? He got in on Wednesday, Tuesday or Wednesday.

Q. Did he spot something straight awa?

DARREN CLARKE: Yeah, straight away.

Q. You are still less stressed about bad shots?

DARREN CLARKE: Not after the second one on the tenth, I was a little bit stressed out about that one. I'm struggling with ball striking. So you know it's more of a grind at the the moment than playing really good golf. If I'm going to get annoyed certainly I'm not going to finish off the way I have done today.

Q. How did it manifest itself?

DARREN CLARKE: What do you mean, how did it manifest itself?

Q. Was it club throwing or an inward seeth?

DARREN CLARKE: A little bit of a verbal one, but mostly inward.

Q. Do you have more of those type of shots than other players of your caliber?

DARREN CLARKE: Not particularly. We all have them now and again. The one on the 10th, from the lie it was on happened to go over the water, and it was a horrible lie and the ball was six inches below my feet. It was one of those you know, it wasn't a perfect lie in the rough or anything.

Q. And it wasn't on a tee like Whistling Straits?

DARREN CLARKE: Correct It definitely wasn't one of those. That was a good one.

Q. What sort of level of expectation do you have going into next week?

DARREN CLARKE: None. Because if I'm hitting the ball like this, I'm not going to do so well.

I'm scoring very well, but striking the ball is not very good. Currently it's not very good. I could get it worked out on the range, so it could be fine. But at the moment, the way I played yesterday and today, it's not quite there at moment.

Having 22 putts, that always helps.

Q. Did you see Monty grudgingly counting them off?

DARREN CLARKE: I didn't say that.

Q. Did Gordon Strachan give you any tips in the pro-am?

DARREN CLARKE: He told me he needs four players for the squad really quickly, a long time ago.

Q. Are you available?

DARREN CLARKE: A long time ago.

Q. You do well here.

DARREN CLARKE: I play okay here.

Q. You like this course?

DARREN CLARKE: I play well at a lot of courses. (Laughter).

Yeah, the course is good. It's playing perfect this morning. There's no breeze, there's not much of a breeze forecast for the weekend, so it's almost like target golf. So because of that, you know you're going to see a lot of low scores.

Q. Were you close to pulling out of here because of the situation at home?

DARREN CLARKE: No. No, she's doing okay.

Q. What happens with your game when you feel this way?

DARREN CLARKE: You just go out to the range and try to figure it out and try to see what's going on. But I basically know what I'm doing. I'm sliding my hips ahead of it and I'm not turning onto the ball properly. These fairways, as nice as they are, there's a lot of sand underneath, too. So if you move, your body is moving at all, you're going to catch a lot of shots heavy and not strike properly enough.

Q. Are you confident you can figure it out on the range?

DARREN CLARKE: Confident, no. Hopeful, yes.

SCOTT CROCKETT: Well I think that's a nice positive way to end. Thank you very much Darren. Good luck this weekend.

End of FastScripts.

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