home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


April 15, 2005

Darren Clarke


TODD BUDNICK: We thank Darren Clarke for stopping in after his back-to-back rounds of 65 at the MCI Heritage. Darren is your clubhouse leader and looks like you will be the second round leader at the end of the day with your six-stroke lead.

Your 130 total is the best 36-hole total of your career, and more impressive is it's the only bogey-free round of the tournament with the wind. Talk a little bit about that first.

DARREN CLARKE: Obviously I'm very pleased to be 12-under par. Conditions are pretty tough, but as I told you guys yesterday, I drove the ball well, and if you drive the ball well and get it in the fairway you're going to give yourself chances. If you start missing fairways then it's tough to hit greens and stuff.

My driving has been pretty much the key this week.

TODD BUDNICK: You seem very comfortable out there, as well. Talk about the ease with which you're going through this tournament.

DARREN CLARKE: I first played here three or four years ago, and it's one of the places where when I first came to Harbour Town I knew I liked the golf course and that's why I've kept coming back since. It's easier to play on a golf course you're comfortable on than one that you're not. I'm enjoying myself and playing pretty solid golf.

Q. Was the weather easier to deal with today than perhaps yesterday?

DARREN CLARKE: It was certainly a little bit warmer today than it was yesterday, but it's still tough out there. The wind swirls about a little bit amongst the trees, and you've just got to go with where it is at the start of the day and hope it stays there.

Q. Which 65 would you say was better given the conditions?

DARREN CLARKE: I think I probably played better today than yesterday. I played well yesterday, but I think I probably hit the ball better today than yesterday.

Q. Are you surprised that nobody else really got as low as they were getting yesterday?

DARREN CLARKE: I don't know, I wasn't really paying any attention to the leaderboard. I'm trying to do what I've got to do and I wasn't really paying any attention. The course is tough. I've just had a really good two days where I've played well and given myself chances. Made some, missed some, but it's certainly not any easier today than it was yesterday.

Q. Do you have any preference as to where you are on the leaderboard at this stage in, I mean, do you see yourself as a front-runner?

DARREN CLARKE: I've won from the front and won from behind, so it doesn't really make any difference. When I won the NEC I think I was in the front --


Q. You led after 54.

DARREN CLARKE: I've done both. I just want to keep playing hopefully as well as I am.

Q. You played really aggressive today, pretty much on your back nine, the front nine, you seemed to go after every flag stick. Was that just something that after your first nine you just felt like it's kind of make or break?

DARREN CLARKE: Well, I think I'm a little bit too stupid to go at middle of the greens really (laughter). It's not one of my fortes to put it to you sensibly. I had some really good shots. I had a good shot into 18, which was my ninth hole, hit 6-iron there to about a foot. I made birdie there. I was swinging pretty well all day, and it's easier for me when I feel as if I'm swinging good to start going after flags, and I wanted to. I made one -- on No. 7 I missed it right but got up-and-down, but apart from that I was trying to get as close as I could to keep going.

Q. So it must make it easier to not have to read the greens here at Harbour Town if you're within two inches?

DARREN CLARKE: If you keep it close it's easier. I like those tap-in birdie putts.

Q. At what point do you start paying attention to the leaderboard and when would you start maybe protecting a lead instead of trying to gain it?

DARREN CLARKE: Playing the 72nd hole, maybe just double up around the right-hand side. There's a long way to go in this tournament. I've got to keep doing what I'm doing, and hopefully come Sunday that will put me at the top of the field. There's a lot of quality players here, and it doesn't take too much -- too bad a swing to run off a double here, which I'm sure you guys have all seen watching the course. I've just got to be concerned about my game and not pay attention to the leaderboard.

Q. Mark was saying that you felt good coming in here. Did something happen at Augusta to change that?

DARREN CLARKE: Sunday at Augusta, I worked on a couple of things and felt very comfortable there and hit the ball very well on the last day. Actually I wasn't releasing the club enough, and I worked on it there and I worked on it here, so, so far, so good.

TODD BUDNICK: Let's have the birdies, starting with the 15th.

DARREN CLARKE: 15, I hit driver, 6-iron, wedge to about 20 feet, holed it. 16, I hit driver, pulled it a hair, kicked into the waste area, hit sand iron to about 25 feet behind the hole, holed it.

18, I hit 3-wood, 6-iron to about -- I don't know, a foot, holed it.

No. 1, I hit 3-wood, 9-iron to two inches, holed it.

No. 2, I hit driver, 7-iron onto the green to about 45 feet, two putts.

No. 5, I hit driver, 3-wood about a yard short of the green, putted it up to, again, six, nine inches, and that was it.

TODD BUDNICK: Any other saves besides 7.

DARREN CLARKE: No, and no other misses, as well. It could be a little bit lower, I guess, but I don't think I missed any other greens.

Oh, I made a good save on No. 14, where I hit 5-iron left and chipped it down to about ten feet and holed it for par there. But I missed two putts from four feet for birdie. But apart from that, that was all that I had to do.

Q. What's your secret at 18? It's been killing everybody else. I think there were maybe four birdies out there today and you made it look simple.

DARREN CLARKE: Don't think about it too much and hit it quick (laughter). It's a tough hole but you've just got to hit -- today I hit a very good shot. It's a very intimidating shot playing with the wind direction that it is. It's playing particularly tough.

Q. There's guys hitting 4-irons in there after hitting drivers off the tee.

DARREN CLARKE: Yeah, as tough as the wind is blowing, gusting up-and-down a little bit, I was just pleased I hit a very solid 3-wood and a very solid 6-iron.

Q. The last couple of years you've gone on a training, more of a fitness kick, changed your clothing. Are these indicative of personality and lifestyle changes for you? Are you a different person now than you were a couple years ago?

DARREN CLARKE: I'm certainly a little bit older and allegedly a little bit wiser, but I haven't changed anything else. I've always been the same way. Just got into the workout thing, got a little bit fitter, little bit better shape. Apart from that, nothing else really changed.

Q. Your personality and lifestyle hasn't really changed?

DARREN CLARKE: No, I still do all the things you shouldn't do (laughter).

Q. You talk about being comfortable on this course. Is there something to be said that also, this isn't THE PLAYERS Championship or The Masters, you guys can come out and relax and maybe not have that kind of pressure, that intense pressure that we see at those other places?

DARREN CLARKE: Possibly. I think coming off a major last week where we're all obviously trying to play as well as we can, you know, this week -- I can only speak for myself, but I'm certainly very relaxed. I'm taking it quite easy this week. It doesn't mean I'm trying any less when I get on the golf course, but I'm just a bit more relaxed after a major. Hopefully it can stay the same way. I think most guys will be a little bit more relaxed, certainly the guys that played in the Masters last week will be.

Q. Do you think you have an outfit that goes with the tartan jacket yet?

DARREN CLARKE: I've definitely got something that would clash maybe.

Q. Are you going to have to go shopping Sunday morning?

DARREN CLARKE: If I was to get the jacket, I'll see.

TODD BUDNICK: On that note, thank you, Darren, and good luck this weekend.

End of FastScripts.

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297