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


February 27, 2003

Darren Clarke


SCOTT CROCKETT: Congratulations, thanks for coming in. 7 and 6. You must be delighted with the way things are going.

DARREN CLARKE: I got off to a very good start. I played very nicely to begin with. I got a few up on Davis, and I had a few poor shots, but got away with them. I got all the breaks, and Davis got none. And then he had to try to force things. And it wasn't happening for him.

SCOTT CROCKETT: Difficult to try and force in these conditions.

DARREN CLARKE: Yeah, very, very tough on today's greens -- it's very tough to get it close to the hole. And as I say, I got the momentum early, and didn't make too many mistakes, and when I did --

Q. (Inaudible.)

DARREN CLARKE: Only on our last hole, on the 12th there was a lot of standing water out there. But before that it was the deluge that came down, when we were playing the 11th, the par-5, that flooded it, before that they were fine.

Q. The situation where you say everything has gone right for you, can you afford any sympathy?

DARREN CLARKE: It was a funny situation with me, because I have an awful lot of respect for Davis, and we're good friends, and even though I was trying to win, I was sort of half willing him to hole a putt or something to happen, because I got good breaks early on. It was tough. But he wanted to beat me, and I wanted to beat him.

Q. What are some of the breaks you got (inaudible.)

DARREN CLARKE: That was unfortunate for Davis. On the par-4, I pulled my tee shot left into the rough, and I had to just get it right off the edge of the green. Davis chipped it in off the green, it was a perfect chip. I got lucky there. I hit a tee shot right, and a good, but right of the fairway, and Davis hit it a foot off the fairway, and I hit a shot up short of the green. So whenever I'm 2-up at that stage, and he's trying to get back in the game, and he gets a couple of breaks going against him, and it's tough to get back. On 8 -- the par-5, I pulled my tee shot left into the rough, Davis hit it on the fairway, laid up and hit it on the green, spun it back to about 25 feet, and he knocked it five feet past. And I hit my chip, and the chip was a little too firm, it hit the flag and stopped, nine inches away, and Davis missed his 5-footer. That's what happens, unfortunately, for Davis, in match play.

Q. You're on the list of withdrawals from Qatar, what's the situation next week?

DARREN CLARKE: I'm still going to Dubai.

Q. Could you change to go to Dubai?

DARREN CLARKE: No, I'm still going to go. Yes, I'm going. It seems like I'm going to have a little bit less time than I possibly would have had. That's a good thing.

Q. What about the conditions? Is it as bad as --

DARREN CLARKE: It's not that bad, there's not a 50 mile an hour wind, it's not bad. It's only rain. It's difficult, but that's what the caddies are there for, to keep everything dry. The only difficulty, as I said, there was trying to get close to the flag with this much moisture on the ground the ball spins a lot on the greens. When they put the flags on the back of the greens, it's tough to put it back there and keep there. It makes it more difficult to score.

Q. The wetness notwithstanding today, the course is much tougher, rough wise and green wise, as it has been in previous years. Does that change the dynamics of the tournament?

DARREN CLARKE: Yes, I think it makes it harder to get it on the fairway, because the rough is so severe. The last time the course was set up like this was the year that (inaudible) -- they've done it again this year.

Q. With the conditions and with being match play, is it that much important to go first, so you can dictate what you want to do for the next player or is it an advantage to go second?

DARREN CLARKE: You just basically have to play well. You have to put it in the fairway, that's No. 1. If you put it in the fairway, then you'll have an opportunity to go with the flags or do what you have to do. If you don't put it in the fairway you're going to struggle. If you put it in the fairway, then it's a straight forward game from there.

Q. Can you give us an example of things going against Davis?

DARREN CLARKE: Davis on the 3rd hole, the par-5, he pulled his tee shot, it should have been in the left rough, should have been okay, but unfortunately for him it hit the tree and kicked left.

Q. (Inaudible.)

DARREN CLARKE: Possibly, yes, possibly, because match play emotions can swing so quickly, you feel as if you should win, and you end up losing. And those are the things that can make a difference between winning and losing. Momentum is huge in match play.

Q. The technical changes in your game since December?

DARREN CLARKE: Before I went out to play in Torrey Pines, I went to see Butch a couple of days, I made alterations for my swing, and I went to Taylor Made a couple of days as well. I've got a driver that I'm hitting it further than I've ever done before. And with those changes and with a new caddy on the bag, as well, it's just a fresh start again, so everything is working out very well.

Q. It's been a good start?

DARREN CLARKE: Very good start. If I had abacus in the score shot at Torrey Pines, I might have been all right, I might have had four runs in there, as well. I don't have a score card. They gave us ones this week, but, no, I'm not doing that.

Q. Is the way you won today, is that just match play?

DARREN CLARKE: That's exactly the way it can go. I played nasty at the start, and got a good start, and unfortunately Davis got all the bad breaks, and unfortunately that's match play.

Q. You were given score cards yesterday?

DARREN CLARKE: Yes, yesterday, just to keep score in case there were any altercations. I didn't ask for one. If I can dodge the score card, I will do that.

Q. (Inaudible.) What's your opinion about the technology revolution, is it time to draw the line?

DARREN CLARKE: I think it's a very -- obviously a topical argument at the moment, but it will be interesting -- on one hand, yes, I do agree that the distance that the ball is going now and the distance that people are hitting it, we're are soon going to overpower the best golf courses in the world, the way things are going, but it would also be interesting just to let it go, and see how far we can actually go. Because there's going to come a stage where everybody is going to hit it that far, but you're going to have to start losing control sooner or later. So there's two sides to it. And at the moment, if you're with the right equipment, you're on the right side of it.

Q. When is the last time you hit a Persimmon driver?

DARREN CLARKE: Actually I don't know, about 6, 7 years ago. I've got a collection of ones. I started when the Persimmon drivers, when they were using them, and I've got 15, 20 at home, old ones. I take them out now and then, but I haven't taken it out for a while.

Q. Nick Price was saying back in those days, you learned to swing, only you'd say 85 percent, and try to reach that line, otherwise you lose control, and now with this equipment, essentially the swing is from the heels, and you cannot go too far off line?

DARREN CLARKE: That's true, but I think if you take a look at the modern golfer, myself excepted, they're all fitter and stronger and eat all the right things and drink all the right things, so there's more dedication. People are working harder, as well. So there's always two sides to that.

Q. It's a combination of factors in length. But if you had to single out the one most responsible?

DARREN CLARKE: It's a combination of modern technologies, where the companies now can match the players, with their clubs available to whatever ball they play. That's what's happened. Companies are able to optimize the performance of their players. My time with Taylor Made to figure out which shaft and which head was giving me the best launch angle and least amount of spin -- there's so much more technology. We've still got to knock them in.

Q. Would winning this week be as satisfying as 2000, regardless of who you play along the way?

DARREN CLARKE: Any win is satisfying, but it would be -- that's a long way off yet, and I don't want to start going down to route just yet. But it's nice after the very, very mediocre year I had last year, it's nice to make the changes I have made and play pretty solid so far this year.

Q. When you're presented with conditions such as today, do you get an extra -- (inaudible.)

DARREN CLARKE: I just sink a little lower into the ground.

Q. Are the conditions giving you an advantage?

DARREN CLARKE: Because I'm hitting my driver very well and carrying it through the air, it's carrying a long way, so because that is certainly giving me an extra boost because of that. But the conditions -- everybody is playing these sort of conditions, but in Ireland, this is just what we're used to.

Q. How long ago was it that you had a driver with which you're as happy as the one you've got now and were driving as well as you are now?

DARREN CLARKE: I don't know ever. I don't know I've ever had one.

Q. It's terrifically good?

DARREN CLARKE: Yeah. Not overly long, though. This one's going long and straight, fortunately at the moment.

Q. Against somebody like Davis Love (inaudible.)

DARREN CLARKE: I've probably gone from about 15 yards behind Davis to level with him, maybe a couple of yards past him. It's difficult to say, because Davis wasn't -- for him he wasn't really hitting as well as he can.

Q. That's the driver you picked up at Taylor Made?


Q. Psychologically it's huge, though, isn't it?

DARREN CLARKE: The game's changed. You've got to hit it 300 yards and straight.

Q. What was your driving average?

DARREN CLARKE: I think I averaged something like -- I don't know, you could check this, 311.7 yards or something, which is a long time since I've done that, a long time.

Q. Is your driver a little longer, like Ernie's?

DARREN CLARKE: No, just standard length.

Q. What would your club head speed be?

DARREN CLARKE: My club head speed was about 117.8 miles an hour or something. And my ball speed was about 175 miles an hour, launching high with low spin, which is optimum for me.

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