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April 16, 2005

Darren Clarke


PHIL STAMBAUGH: Okay, Darren Clarke, 73 today, and going into the final round you find yourself a shot behind Peter. Just a couple thoughts about your round.

DARREN CLARKE: Obviously disappointed with the way I played today. I didn't swing it good. I had lost my feel on the greens completely, kept bashing them seven-foot, six foot past and missing the ones coming back. I'm the only one behind going into tomorrow, so I'm looking forward to it. Hopefully I play better tomorrow than I did today.

PHIL STAMBAUGH: There's been a lot of come-from-behind winners at this event the last few years.

DARREN CLARKE: Well, you can see why -- as I said yesterday, the course is difficult. You can leave a few out there and make a few mistakes. Today I certainly made a lot of mistakes, and at the same time Peter played fantastic. I'm not surprised to find myself one shot behind, but that's not a bad place to be going into tomorrow.

PHIL STAMBAUGH: If we can go through your round and then we'll go into questions.

DARREN CLARKE: Do I have to go through all these bogeys (laughter)?

No. 2, I hit my driver, pulled it into the trees, took a safe option, just chipped it up the fairway to hit sand wedge in, pitched my sand wedge 134 yards into the bunker over the green. I must have got a gust up there. Didn't get up-and-down.

No. 3, driver, pulled it again, left rough, hit it up there to the green to about 35 feet away, three-putted.

No. 5, I had driver, 3-wood just short of the green, chipped it up to about five feet and made it.

No. 6, I hit driver just in the right trap, hit 7-iron just short of the green, putted it up to about five feet, missed it.

No. 7, hit a perfect shot with a 7-iron stared down the flag, as opposed to releasing, it pitched and stopped and stuck on the left edge of the green. I got a little bit too aggressive and chipped it over the other edge of the green, made it up-and-down for bogey.

No. 9, hit 4-iron, sand iron to about three feet, holed it for birdie.

No. 10, I hit 5-wood, pitching wedge to about two feet for birdie.

No. 11, I hit 5-wood, 9-iron to the green to about 20 feet, bashed the first one and bashed a seven-footer coming back and missed it.

15, I pulled my driver into the left trees, tried to chip it around, pulled it a bit, hit a good 9-iron onto the green, had about a 45-footer coming down the hill, bashed it six, seven-foot past again and missed the one coming back.

Then 16, I hit 3-wood, pitching wedge to about 12 feet and holed it for birdie.

Q. Going into tomorrow do you take what you did Thursday and Friday in your mind instead of what happened today?

DARREN CLARKE: Yeah. If you ask most guys in a tournament, they'll have three days where they play well and one day where they play a little bit not too well. Hopefully this is my day when I played not so well. I still could have got away with a semi-decent score, if I hadn't kept bashing it seven feet past. I got too aggressive sometimes, hard to get some shots back and paid the penalty for it. I've had two good rounds and hopefully this is my bad one out of the way.

Q. It seems like on 9 and 10 you kind of started playing like you did the first two days. Do you feel like you were going to go into that --

DARREN CLARKE: Yeah, and then I bashed the one on 11 about seven-foot past. I tried to force the issue a little bit. I still hit some decent shots. I wasn't really bad all day. There's a difference between bad and really bad, but I was average to say the least.

Q. I played Royal Port Rush last summer on a cold, rainy day. Are you hoping it's bad weather tomorrow?

DARREN CLARKE: No, I like playing in tee shirts as much as everyone else does. I'd like a good day.

Q. How often is it that you lose the touch that seems to good for a couple days on the greens, and when that happens, is it likely it comes right back the next day?

DARREN CLARKE: For me, frequently. For other guys I'm not so sure. In answer to your second question, is it likely to come back the next day; I hope so. I'll tell you when I get onto the putting green tomorrow morning.

Q. How much time will you spend practicing your putting or chipping this evening?

DARREN CLARKE: A little bit; not that long.

Q. Did you know on the putting green that if you were having a hard time getting a feel for the greens?

DARREN CLARKE: No, I thought it was fine. I just got out there and didn't have any feel on the greens at all.

PHIL STAMBAUGH: Darren, thank you.

End of FastScripts.

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