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


March 18, 2006

Darren Clarke


JOE CHEMYCZ: We welcome Darren Clarke, 9 under par 63, back nine round of 30, which also ties the tournament record. His 63 ties his career best, which was in the first round of the 2003 Las Vegas Invitational. And Darren, with that, I'll just let you talk about your round today and all of the good things that happened.

DARREN CLARKE: I've gone lower than 63, just not over here.


DARREN CLARKE: Thought I'd just clear him up there. Thank you. Today I did really well. Gave myself lots of chances and 63 was a pretty fair score. I didn't do anything outrageous, don't hole any ridiculously long putts as you can probably see from the stats. I just played well.

JOE CHEMYCZ: You got on a run of six in a row there, and I understand you also lipped out on 15.

DARREN CLARKE: Yeah, 15, I don't know how I missed on 15. That was for in a row knowing that I've got 16 coming up after it. The one on 15 hurt a little bit.

JOE CHEMYCZ: And a 3 putt on 6.

DARREN CLARKE: 6, I hit driver, 4 iron on to the green and got a pretty long, tough putt, but hit it about eight feet past and missed it coming back.

Q. When something like this happens, are there signs or do you just go with it?

DARREN CLARKE: No. Yesterday I hit the ball pretty well, also. I just didn't put the scores on. But I hit the ball pretty solid, a lot of chances, a lot of good shots. I've been working really hard at home with Peter Cowen on a few things, and then Butch has been here this week and he's given me a couple of drills as well. I had one of those days where everything clicked and I was able to control my ball flight and distance in the breeze. Just added up to a pretty good day.

Q. How does it rate with the best rounds of your career; is it up there with the 60 at The K Club?

DARREN CLARKE: I think the 60 at The K Club was a lot better than today. But, you know, today was good. Today was nice. Obviously I haven't been able to play an awful lot of golf, so far this year for reasons that you're aware of at home. So, you know, it's good to shoot a good score on a very, very tough golf course.

Q. I understand you were ill beginning of this week, could you tell us what happened and when did you arrive here?

DARREN CLARKE: I got here on Sunday and I just had a bug on Sunday night, and I spent most of Monday in bed and stuff. I wasn't feeling particularly well, just one of those sort of things. I was fine; from Tuesday afternoon onwards, I was okay.

Q. What were the circumstances at Doral that you had to leave?

DARREN CLARKE: I hurt my wrist. I just pulled something in here, and it was a recurring injury. I had it a couple of years ago as well. As you guys know, whenever we tend not to play well, we tend to go to the range and beat balls and beat balls and beat balls, and that's what I did and I paid the penalty for it. It had been there all way, just niggling away at me.

Q. And what was the tournament where you shot the 60 at The K Club?

DARREN CLARKE: I shot it twice, The K Club in Dublin at the European Masters and 60 in Monte Carlo.

Q. Is it tendonitis?

DARREN CLARKE: A little bit. It wasn't that bad. It was only precautionary. The tournaments that I knew I had coming up, here, TPC, Augusta, I didn't want to put extra pressure on, especially having shot 75. (Laughter).

Q. I know the players and everybody ask you this every time they see you, but how is Heather doing, and is there anything that you can tell us has changed?

DARREN CLARKE: She's doing okay. She's having a pretty tough battle at the minute. She had a couple of weeks of very intensive treatment two weeks ago for another situation, so she's had a very tough time but she's battling hard.

Q. Does that weigh on you when you're out here and trying to do a job and it's probably not the top priority?

DARREN CLARKE: As you can probably see from my results, it's affecting me quite a bit which is normal, it's bound to. The my golf is not really at the top of my list, it's nowhere near the top of my priorities. But still at the same time, I'm not just going out to make up a number, I want to try and compete.

So it's a bit of a Catch 22. I have a lot of things going on and I'm working hard on my golf, as well. It's tough whenever the numbers aren't coming that I want to shoot. So, you know, it's especially good to do that today.

Q. I'm sure if you had your way, you'd want to go play the fourth round right now, but how do you carry for another 24 hours and try to stay in that mojo zone?

DARREN CLARKE: I've got no idea. I'll just go out and play. I'll go and see how I play. I just hope I can play as well as I did today, I don't know about the best of times, let alone tomorrow, we'll see.

Q. How much are you able to practice at home, and how does that affect getting ready for a tournament, as much as you practice, does it get you in tournament mode?

DARREN CLARKE: Yeah, you can work on certain aspects. But, you know, it's a lot different to go and hit balls with turtlenecks, fleeces on, waterproofs on, and you come out here and it's green and it's a lot different. The toughest part is not quite playing enough tournaments. You can only hit your shots that you need to hit while competing in tournaments. It's different practicing at home. I'm going to play a little bit more, which hopefully I'm going to do, and then I'll be a little bit more comfortable with what I'm trying to do.

Q. On the back nine, you had a lot of waits on the tees and the fairway, obviously didn't bother you, but what do you do when it does get backed up a little bit to keep your mind on what you're doing?

DARREN CLARKE: We're three good guys today, myself and Mark Hensby and Slu ie, so we can talk rubbish with the best of them. Had a little bit of fun and talked about a few things and it was pretty easy. We're getting used to it. You know, it's 5 1/2 hours week in, week out sometimes.

Q. So the waits didn't bother you at all?


Q. So how did you ring in St. Patrick's Day?

DARREN CLARKE: By remaining ridiculously sober which goes against all my principles. But I thought for the tournament, I'd better stay sober, so I did.

Q. We're ashamed of you.

DARREN CLARKE: I know, so am I. Now you've told everybody. Pretend I had a few.

Q. Speaking of The K Club some of us were talking to Harrington about the upcoming Ryder Cup and what that means over there in that neck of the woods, wondering if you can sort of tell us how that's going to rank in terms of sporting spectacles in that part of the world?

DARREN CLARKE: Biggest sporting event they have ever had in Ireland. You've got the eyes of the world all of a sudden focusing on The K Club in Dublin. I don't know if many of you have been to Ireland or not, but they are very hospitable people, like to have a drink and a bit of fun. It's going to be an unbelievable atmosphere at The K Club. The Irish are going to be very welcoming to everybody that's there, so we'll be pleased when we see the people that made an effort to travel to Ireland. The atmosphere is going to be great, the people are going to be very friendly and I think it's going to be a fantastic event.

Q. On that note, I looked recently at the European Ryder Cup points and I don't think you or Padraig, I don't know if McGinley

DARREN CLARKE: No, McGinley is up there, I think. I haven't looked at them. I've got no idea. I haven't paid any attention to them whatsoever.

Q. I know golf is not your priority right now, but how much do you want to be a part of that?

DARREN CLARKE: Of course I want to be a part of it. But I don't know if I'm going to play next week, I don't know if I'm going to play the week after. So I would love to be part of the Ryder Cup in Ireland. But that's too far ahead for me to have any idea what's going on. So hence there's no point, I don't look at the Ryder Cup points list.

If I qualify, then great. If not, then the fact that I haven't qualified, I wouldn't want to put myself in that position anyway to be part of the team, because you don't want to be there if you're not on top of your game. If I was close to be making the team, that would be a different scenario, but if I was far off from making the team, that's the last place I would want to be is standing on the first tee under that amount of pressure and not quite knowing where it's going. (Laughter.) I'd rather have a few pints of Guinness watch it on TV.

Q. Several years ago when all things were going well, would you have been surprised to hear yourself say then that golf would never be the top priority?

DARREN CLARKE: Probably, yeah. But things change, things happen that you've got to reassess things and take a step back and take a look at them. It's a pretty tough thing that we're having to deal with at the moment, and just got to reassess things, realign things and golf is not at the top of them.

Q. At this time last year, Padraig Harrington went through something similar with his father, have you guys leaned on each other the past couple of years about what's going on?

DARREN CLARKE: Slightly different ways, but yes, we have spoken about it. He had a very tough time last year and sadly his father passed away and that affected him greatly last year. But this is a different scenario at the moment, Heather is fighting hard and doing okay at the minute. So I don't want to get too far ahead, and he's certainly very supportive and always asks me what's going on.

Q. How hard is it not to be able to plan a schedule, you have a schedule planned but not knowing even if you'll be here tomorrow, have you made peace with that?

DARREN CLARKE: Doesn't matter. It's all irrelevant. Doesn't matter.

JOE CHEMYCZ: Real quick, birdies starting with 1.

DARREN CLARKE: 1, I hit driver, 6 iron to ten feet. I'm reading off my distances from the TOURCast, so I can't tell any lies.

JOE CHEMYCZ: If you think it's different

DARREN CLARKE: It's fine, I'll have them all 30 feet and holed everything.

No. 6, I had a 3 putt, I hit driver, 4 iron on to the green and whacked it from 60 feet.

No. 9, I hit driver, 6 iron to two feet.

No. 10, I hit driver, wedge to seven and a half feet.

No. 11, I hit 5 wood, 8 iron to 16 feet.

No. 12, I hit driver, 3 iron, pitching wedge to five feet.

No. 13, I hit 3 iron, pitching wedge to 14 1/2 feet.

14, I hit 4 iron to ten inches.

16, I hit driver, 6 iron to 21 feet and 2 putted.

JOE CHEMYCZ: Darren, thank you.

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