DARREN CLARKE: I think today I was very calm. I felt very comfortable. As I say, I'm 35 and experienced enough to know what I should be doing and what I shouldn't be doing. I had a day where I was very comfortable, knew exactly what I was trying to do, and things went my way. It's great to see progress not only in my swing, my short game, but from the mental side it's great to see everything culminate and end up with a win again.
Q. Can this do anything for the European Tour, even just confidence as far as you guys haven't won very many majors?
DARREN CLARKE: We do have a bunch of very talented young players now in Europe coming through again. We can play a bit over there in Ireland, as well. It's just great for another European to win one again.
Personally, obviously, I'm pleased that it's myself, but we do have a lot of good players coming through there. Hopefully it will show them that they can carry on and come over here and win because they're good enough to do it.
Q. With this win I think you're the 20th different person to win on the Tour this year. How good is that for the game of golf?
DARREN CLARKE: It's great because it means there's so much more depth, as opposed to just Tiger winning every week. Everybody loves to see Tiger win the way he plays. He's the best player in the world. But there's a lot of other guys that can come out here and play, as well, and sometimes when it's your week, it's your week, and that's what happens. That's why you've got 20 different winners this year on the Tour. Guys can play. The saying "these guys are good," there's a lot of them that are.
Q. With the DQ in your first event of the year in San Diego, you were desperately disappointed. What does this mean for Darren Clarke and the possible U.S. Tour possible membership this year?
DARREN CLARKE: I'm really taking a look at my membership after TPC at Sawgrass and I had enough money to get my card next year and I've already committed to becoming a member over here next year. This doesn't make any difference because I was already going to take my card up. I'm going to play both tours this year, probably play 16, 17 tournaments over here and probably similar in Europe. As long as you're top 50 in the world it's easy to do that. It's something that I can do and I'm in a position to do that.
Q. You talked about your putting. Bobby Clampett mentioned you were at the top or close to the top. It's amazing, but talk about -- have you made drastic improvements in your technique or is it just a matter of practicing more? Has that suit at the Taylor Made fitting place that you've been using been a factor?
DARREN CLARKE: A little bit of everything really. I've tried to become a lot more stationery over the ball and not move as much, work on a few different things on the mental side, and on the physical side, as well, but that's why some weeks you look down the greens and you see it's outside right and you manage to start it off outside right and you manage to find the middle of the hole. Some weeks it does, some weeks it doesn't. To finish No. 1 in putting is a major achievement for me.
Q. Well done, Darren.
DARREN CLARKE: Thank you. How did Monte do?
Q. I might not write about Monte tomorrow, but I'll see now (laughter). How long did you spend, if any time at all, with Butch last week?
DARREN CLARKE: When did I get there? Did I play the week before? No, I didn't play. I got there early-ish, as well. I saw Butch on Monday last week, and we did about an hour, hour and a half's work. He said to me after that, he said you're swinging fine. I'm going to watch you from afar, if I see anything wrong I'll come over and tell you, but just swinging the way you are and you're fine. Keep using the arm brace and you're fine. He said we did a little bit too much at the Open at St. George's so this week I'm just going to let you go, and that's what he did. He thought I was swinging well enough last week so just continued doing what he's been telling me to do.
Q. Without disclosing too many details, do you plan on staying in the Akron area tonight or how are you going to celebrate this victory?
DARREN CLARKE: I'm not quite sure.
Q. Are you going to stay here, though?
DARREN CLARKE: No, there's a plane sitting at McKinley Aviation. I have yet to decide where it's going to take me to. Opportunities are wide open.
Q. You're in Boston next week, Darren?
DARREN CLARKE: Yes, I'm going to Boston, but I won't go tonight.
Q. I'm sure that the rest of the field felt some bit of pressure today to try and catch you knowing that you were playing well. I'm wondering, did you feel any pressure knowing that there was a great group of players right behind you with a chance?
DARREN CLARKE: Not particularly. As I said yesterday when I was in here, if I win tomorrow it'll be great, if I don't it's not going to make a bit of difference to me whatsoever. That was the attitude that I had, and I went out with that and I just went out and played, and things went my way.
I didn't feel any pressure from anybody coming from behind at all. I can still play a little bit myself. I'm 17th in the world and I haven't got there for no reason. I should be able to deal with a few things.
Q. With a $1 million prize, do you have any Ferraris picked out or anything like that?
DARREN CLARKE: The wife has probably got half of it spent already. I don't know, we'll see. I haven't thought about that yet. More immediate thoughts are tonight where the plane is going to take us.
Q. The last two putts on Friday evening, the last few greens, do they in your mind assume the importance that they had?
DARREN CLARKE: They were huge. To manage to hole them in the last couple of holes to keep me in it on a day when I wasn't quite firing on all cylinders. I knocked them in both of them without touching the sides of the hole, and that was a great boost for me going into the weekend. To drift further away from the lead would have made a big difference.
Q. You said you didn't look at a leaderboard until 13. Did you get any chance that Tiger was getting closer just based on the noise from ahead?
DARREN CLARKE: There was a couple of roars, but thankfully there wasn't that many so I knew he wasn't making eagles and everything and doing what he usually does. I could hear that he was making a few birdies, or somebody was, but I don't have any time to start worrying about what anybody else is doing. I've got enough to be getting on with my own game.
Q. Secondly, the pace seemed kind of slow. Does that ever bother you?
DARREN CLARKE: It was slow-ish, but I was in my own world out there. I was wandering along and hitting my shots and it didn't bother me. Usually it does, but this time I was very much at ease so it didn't bother me at all.
Q. Must have been the three-hour nine-hole practice rounds.
DARREN CLARKE: Exactly. Bernhard Langer does it all the time.
Q. Your approach shot at 16 obviously you could throw away a few shots there. Looked like you hit your shot before the people really cleared the green area.
DARREN CLARKE: I wasn't aware of them at all. As soon as I saw Stevie go off the right edge of the green, I thought that was it. I didn't know it was near the right end. I pushed it five yards to go even near that line of the flag. I was looking at the NEC sign right in the middle of the back stands and I knew exactly what I was trying to go far. I had enough time to stand on the fairway and look at it to know what my target was. I didn't notice it going off to the right.
Q. There was a lot of criticisms over 16 today. I think Hal Sutton said it was practically unplayable.
DARREN CLARKE: If it was a par 6 hole we could have. It was so difficult to actually keep it on the green going in there with a lob wedge putting as much spin on it as you could, but it was different to have a par 5 that was playing over par. Usually we're having a go at everything. At the start of the week I thought it's a tougher hole from the back, but I think it's a better hole from the front. That's my opinion on the hole.
Q. Tiger said the better you play the faster you walk. How was your walk up the 18th hole? Did you slow it down?
DARREN CLARKE: I was slow all day. I was really slow all day today. I don't know how I managed to do it, but I was. I was just wandering around, and as I said, I was just hitting it and finding it and hitting it again. I wish I could do it more often.
Q. Do you have a favorite brand of cigar?
DARREN CLARKE: All totally legal ones over here.
Q. Did you smoke much today at all?
DARREN CLARKE: No, I didn't smoke much today. I'll make up for it.
Q. When did you stop smoking? You always used to have a cigar in your mouth when you used to play?
DARREN CLARKE: I left my cigar holder at home so I've got nowhere to carry them around without breaking them up.
Q. What about cigarettes?
DARREN CLARKE: Well, there was one or two of those, but I much prefer to have my cigars.
Q. So you left your cigar --
DARREN CLARKE: I left my holders at home, sorry. I'll try and remember to bring them next time.
Q. Since we're on brands, what's your pint of choice?
DARREN CLARKE: Need to ask? Guinness, of course.
Q. Food? While we're on the subject.
DARREN CLARKE: I don't think there will be any time for food.
SCOTT CROCKETT: We're all done. Darren, many, many congratulations.
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