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November 10, 2000

Darren Clarke


Q. Any thoughts on your first round?

DARREN CLARKE: Well, I'm not completely out of it, am I?

Q. Money-wise. How did you play? Good round?

DARREN CLARKE: I struggled on the front, and thought I just hung in there and did what I had to do. Then I started making some really good swings around the back nine and some really good shots. Difficult day. This course is tough, tough at the best time. But with the wind they got, it's even tougher.

Q. Were you more comfortable yesterday or today?

DARREN CLARKE: Yesterday was okay. Yesterday was fine. I hit the ball fine yesterday.

Q. It wasn't a very good day for you yesterday.

DARREN CLARKE: No, it wasn't. But as I said yesterday, I hit the ball well enough. I had a day where I didn't score, but I actually played okay. Today, I was struggling on the front nine. I wasn't really swinging them that well. Then we got on to the 9th tee, and (inaudible) had started, and a lot of punches around the back nine, and that's what I did. I got right back on track again.

Q. You were saying you hit a particularly good shot from the tee in the 9th?

DARREN CLARKE: Yeah, I had a great shot in the 9th.

Q. What was that? Tell us about it.

DARREN CLARKE: I hit a decent tee shot. I just got up a little bit in the breeze and kicked right, into the rough. About 190 to the flag. (Inaudible.) Good four.

Q. Two cut low?

DARREN CLARKE: Low-cut 2-iron.

Q. Did you have to put a bend in there?

DARREN CLARKE: Well, that's what a cut is.

Q. How much did it bend then?

DARREN CLARKE: About 15 yards, 20 yards. It was just a little punch, cut.

Q. (Inaudible). That sort of set you back you on track?

DARREN CLARKE: Yeah, I got just sort of got back on track from there.

Q. Confidence good?

DARREN CLARKE: Yeah, I'm fine. I'm hitting good shots. (Inaudible) middle of the 17th fairway, 209 to the front. I just take the 5-iron, hit it way up in the air, hit it onto the green. If I wasn't confident, I'd be lying up from there.

Q. On the green?

DARREN CLARKE: Yeah, and then I try not to put it in the water from there. I tried to lag it, lag it down to about a foot and a half.

Q. What of the changes?


Q. The collar of the grass?

DARREN CLARKE: Yeah, the collar of the grass at the back is a little bit better, I think. But the green's hardly changed at all.

Q. 67, not a bad round.

DARREN CLARKE: Yeah, great score. Great score. 5-under par around there is proper golf.

Q. Colin had a hole in one and an eagle, too.

DARREN CLARKE: Colin's? Yeah. (Laughing.) He had a good day.

Q. You came across it?

DARREN CLARKE: No, it was on the border. Just when we were walking off 10, putting those things up. Billy said, "He's holing." He got a hole in one.

Q. He's level par, and you're level par. He says you're going to need two 67s, need two 66s to win. Do you see it similar?

DARREN CLARKE: I don't know. The wind's going to blow again tomorrow, so you don't know what it's going to do. You don't know.

Q. Would you like this to be all over?

DARREN CLARKE: Would I like what to be all over?

Q. (Inaudible).

DARREN CLARKE: No. No. You want to test yourself, don't you? I want to test myself and see what I can do under the circumstances.

Q. Do you think you're playing two tournaments in one?

DARREN CLARKE: I'm trying to play this tournament. If I play well in this tournament, then the other things will take care of themselves. I'm trying to play as well as I can in this tournament. I needed a good score today, a decent score today, to get myself back up a little bit up the leaderboard. 74 wasn't what I wanted yesterday. And 70 today, I think 70 today is a good score.

Q. Can you describe the difficulties at the 18th?

DARREN CLARKE: There's no fairway. There appears to be a fairway, but when you stand on the tee, there is no fairway.

Q. What did you hit your second shot?

DARREN CLARKE: I tried to punch a little 7-iron.

Q. To say that Montgomerie's is a good score and 5-under is proper golf is a very generous tribute.

DARREN CLARKE: Oh, 5-under is a great score around here. But that's Monty. He hasn't been No. 1 for seven years in a row for no reason. He's capable of fantastic golf. He's proved that in the past. I'm not in the least bit surprised.

Q. Two eagles up.

DARREN CLARKE: Yeah, two eagles up today, but they're obviously good shots to make two eagles.

End of FastScripts...

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