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March 29, 2003

Darren Clarke


DARREN CLARKE: I was disappointed finished bogey, bogey on 17 and 18. I made the choice, messed up a bit, but I went out today and just decided to keep on hitting it the way I had been and be patient and wait for things to happen. I have been hitting the ball really well these past couple of month. I went to Butch the start of the year, made some changes and went to see Bob Rotella couple of weeks ago spent a week with him down in Naples. Fiddled around a little bit with the jig -jaw (SIC).

Q. Rotella was interesting?

DARREN CLARKE: I am a little bit temperamental now and then as I have been told, certainly put me in the right track.

Q. Talk about your back nine today, 5 birdies, no bogeys, home in 31?

DARREN CLARKE: Yeah, you'd take that out everyday out here. I just played well. I stiffed it, I think about three times birdied the other two par 5s, that was it. So be nice if it was that easy all the time.

Q. Tough conditions growing up having played in Northern Ireland. Tomorrow there is going to be cold, wet, messy conditions. What does it mean for you?

DARREN CLARKE: A lot of people would say it would be easier for me, but we here are all world-class players, and we can all adapt to tough conditions. Personally I have got to go out and play the same way as I did today; hopefully I can score as well.

Q. How does bad conditions, cold wind, rain, how does that affect your strategy out here in the final round?

DARREN CLARKE: Well, there's a lot of tough shots to be hit, to be played whenever there are conditions like this when the sun's out, they are going to be doubly tough whenever it is raining, but I think tomorrow is going to be a case of not making that many mistakes, because if you miss these flags I don't have to tell you, miss them on the wrong side in tough conditions, going to be even more difficult to get up and down. There's going to be a lot of thinking going on even for me.

Q. Something in your swing that you needed to change?

DARREN CLARKE: Yeah, a little bit. Probably 4, 5 things, the main one being, start coming over the top of it and swiping it and holding the club face, got me trying to extend more down my line, keep my head in the backswing; just a few things he's wanted me to do for a while.

Q. Comfortable with those changes now under the gun?

DARREN CLARKE: Yeah, I felt really good with them since I started doing them. But tomorrow is the first time that I am going to play really under the gun and I am really looking forward to it. That's what I want to do. I want to try and improve with people like Butch's help and Bob Rotella's help. If I can do that, go out and play tomorrow, then that will be fantastic. But I want to put myself in positions like this.

Q. Thought process last evening when you decided to go ahead and finish those last couple of holes?

DARREN CLARKE: If I could answer that I'd probably make the first bogey, bogey -- I didn't fancy getting up at 6 o'clock in the morning, pretty controlled to not go back and raid the fridge with all the cold beers in it. So it was okay. Difficult. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. But I chose to play on, and I made a mistake.

Q. Who is the best player from Europe right now?

DARREN CLARKE: Probably if you take a look at his record this past year you'd have to say Padraig or Retief. I know Retief is South Africa but the European Tour those two guys have been playing great. Probably those two.

Q. I wonder if Padraig sometimes is overlooked a little bit over here in terms of how good he is just because we are not quite as familiar with him?

DARREN CLARKE: No, he's a fantastic player. He makes very, very few mistakes, both probably physically and mentally, more mentally he's very, very strong mentally. Results this past couple of years have gone to show that. His golf swing is improving and all aspects of his game. He's a very, very strong player. You don't get to No. 10 in the world without being a very good player.

End of FastScripts....

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