Q. Can you talk about your short game? Haven't you worked pretty hard on that this year? Have you put in more work than normal and if so what inspired you to do that?
DARREN CLARKE: It hasn't been good enough, basically. If you're not shooting the numbers you should be shooting there's got to be some aspects you need to identify. I've worked pretty hard this past three or four weeks or so because I was working -- I had almost gotten too technical with my main swing with Butch and trying to figure out a few things and neglected my short game, so I had to work on it very hard. I've been putting reasonably well, but this week it seems to be going in so far. If you're making those 10 to 15-foot putts, then it makes a huge difference to the score.
Q. Considering how you like this play and the people on the leaderboard, would it feel like a major to win this thing?
DARREN CLARKE: I haven't won a major so I can't really answer that question.
Q. How big would it be?
DARREN CLARKE: Yeah, it would be great. After the majors I think you'd have all the guys maybe with the exception of Sawgrass would say the World Golf Championship is the one to win next. I've been fortunate enough to win one but I'd like to give myself a chance to win another one.
Q. You rate this higher than anything else in Europe?
DARREN CLARKE: In terms of strength of field, I think you'd have to. When you get to play with the best players in the world, that's I think how people judge tournaments these days, through the strength of the field.
Q. Your desire to win, the meaningfulness of winning?
DARREN CLARKE: The meaningfulness of winning is to try and beat the best golfers. There's a lot of the best golfers here.
Q. You've come close a few times. This season quite a number of times, and it's just not happened. Is it going to happen now?
DARREN CLARKE: I don't know. I'll just keep doing what I'm doing. What's the worst thing I can do tomorrow? I can play the worst I've ever played tomorrow and it's not going to make any difference. I'm going to come out and see if I can. I've put the work in to get myself in a position like this, so I think I'm on the right road. My scores are starting to show that, so it's a gradual case of just improving again. Everybody goes up-and-down in this game.
Q. It's got to give you a lot of confidence being in this position come tomorrow.
DARREN CLARKE: I'm looking forward to it. I've had a lot of fun this week on the golf course and I plan to do the same thing again tomorrow.
Q. Would you say you've rededicated yourself? Have you put in a lot more work this year than you have for a while?
DARREN CLARKE: Not really. I tend to work pretty hard. People don't think that I do, looking at me, but I actually do work pretty hard. I have been working really hard, and it's been frustrating to put as much work in as I have been and not gotten any results. Sometimes that happens.
Q. After The Masters I think we got word that you had decided to go into kind of a physical conditioning mode.
DARREN CLARKE: It's been great.
Q. I wondered about the progress of that.
DARREN CLARKE: Not quite as good as I'd hoped really.
Q. When did it end or did it ever really start?
DARREN CLARKE: I have been doing a little bit. Believe it or not, I have been doing a little bit. Because I've been playing an awful lot of golf, and one of the things I said I would do is do it at home and not at the golf tournaments, because I want to practice as much as I have, and because I've been working really hard I haven't had time to do very little else. That's not an excuse, it's actually the real reason. It's something that I am still going to pursue. Hopefully I'll be a little bit lighter when you ask the same question again next year.
Q. Do you want to lose weight or get stronger aerobically or do you want to lift weights or --
DARREN CLARKE: I'm pretty strong now. I don't need to do that much. I've just got to lose a little bit of weight basically and get myself a little bit fitter so maybe coming down the stretch I won't make mistakes because of not being out of shape and not mentally alert and sharp as I should be.
Q. I don't want this to sound negative since you're in this tournament, but do you feel like you've fulfilled your potential?
DARREN CLARKE: That's not the first time I've been asked that. I've been asked that a few times. When I play well I can play very well. Unfortunately, it doesn't happen as much as I would like. It's not through lack of work, it's just sometimes it doesn't happen. I have tended to get very annoyed in the past, but hopefully I think this year my attitude has been very, very good. Again, my results haven't shown that. It's trying to be patient and wait for things to happen, and patience is not one of my virtues.
Q. So when Feherty marvels at the simplicity of your swing --
DARREN CLARKE: He's from home.
Q. And he compares you to Nick Price with a stomach, is that a stomach?
DARREN CLARKE: Depends how big a stomach. If it was a pregnant stomach, then maybe not, but we'll see. I've known Feherty for a long time, so it's always nice to hear him say decent things anyway.
Q. Do you think that you've dropped shots because of fitness or is it because of golf?
DARREN CLARKE: A bit of both. I think Augusta was a prime example of that. I think the book I see have it right back in the UK. They said if there's ever a rain delay in a tournament do not pick Darren Clarke. That means I have to play more than 18 holes in a day.
Q. What is your weight?
DARREN CLARKE: Highly confidential.
Q. You won the 26-hole match with Tiger, so obviously that wasn't an issue that day.
DARREN CLARKE: No, it wasn't. Sometimes I'm okay and sometimes I'm not. Most of the time I'm okay, but Augusta was one where it really brought it home for me. Augusta was playing as hilly as the golf course was. They were very long walks, and I made some mistakes that I don't think ordinarily I would have done, so that's what brought the whole thing to my attention.
Q. Did you finish in the dark one night, too, maybe rush a couple of holes to try to get done?
DARREN CLARKE: Yeah, I think I was at Sawgrass the previous -- two weeks previous where we played in the dark and I finished bogey, bogey. A little bit lighter and not playing in the dark might help.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Darren, many thanks. Good luck tomorrow.
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