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May 17, 2006

Darren Clarke


GORDON SIMPSON: Darren, apart from Liverpool's flukey win, how was last week?

DARREN CLARKE: Obviously very disappointing on Sunday. I was one shot off the lead with four holes to go and managed to make three bogeys on the last four, that's not what I'm used to. It didn't take me too long to drive back home from The Belfry to Wentworth.

I didn't play particularly well last week. I struggled with my ball striking all week which was pretty well documented by you guys, and this week, same again.

GORDON SIMPSON: I suppose contending is the thing; at least you were right in the shake up.

DARREN CLARKE: Yeah, I had a chance. But you know, it's always disappointing whenever you do what I did last week. That's not really what I planned to do and what I had hoped to do. But I have a chance, and hope maybe same thing again might happen this week.

Q. You told us before the tournament that you weren't playing well, do you take anymore confidence into this week after that tournament?

DARREN CLARKE: Absolutely not, no.

Q. Why not?

DARREN CLARKE: I can't get the club face square. I can't control my ball flight; therefore I can't control my distance, so I'm going to be in trouble an awful lot of times. I just had a lucky day last week Thursday at The Belfry where I managed to shoot a decent score, but I'm just really struggling with my game at the moment.

Q. Working with Pete?

DARREN CLARKE: Still working away, still doing everything he's telling me to do and I can't do it. Sometimes I'm just a bit like that.

Q. Have you ever had this problem before this?

DARREN CLARKE: Frequently. Frequently. It's a timing issue and I'm just struggling with it a little bit. I can't quite get the coordination between my arms and my body to work at the same time.

Q. Are you any more confident this week?

DARREN CLARKE: No, no. Certainly it's very demanding, and I believe that the forecast the next couple of days is the same as what we had last year. It's going to be very wet, very windy. The course is going to play long, it's going to play tough, and it's not a very appealing prospect whenever you're hitting as badly as I am.

Q. Whenever we get back to Ireland, talk gets round to playing in the Ryder Cup?

DARREN CLARKE: Of course, I would love to be a part of it again. Obviously I'm outside of the qualification criteria at the moment, standings at the moment. At the end of the day I love to play, but if I don't because of circumstances which you're aware of, then so be it. Even if I made the team or was picked to the team, I still don't know if I would be able to play or not until a week two, weeks before. So it isn't really high on my priorities.

Q. From a purely golf point of view�

DARREN CLARKE: Yeah, I've love to play.

Q. But would you have the character to turn around to Woosie and say, "Look, I don't think I should play?"

DARREN CLARKE: I would most definitely have the character to do that. I would have no qualm of doing that whatsoever. But I've gone into Ryder Cup playing poorly before. I think if you take a look at my record in the Ryder Cup, it's not too bad.

Q. So you would tell him that?

DARREN CLARKE: Yeah, most definitely, most definitely.

Q. How is your schedule the next few weeks?

DARREN CLARKE: Wentworth next week and then a week off and then Barclays in Westchester and then U.S. Open. And after that, I don't really know.

Q. Have you seen the odds this week - you are second favourite?

DARREN CLARKE: Good old Irish bookies. They definitely are trying to get people to bet with their hearts and not their brains, that's for sure.

Q. So you don't think that's right?

DARREN CLARKE: Definitely not.

Q. What should your odds be?

DARREN CLARKE: I don't know. I'd better not say. But I think they should be and they what are two totally different things.

GORDON SIMPSON: Guys are saying this is the sort of weather which favours players who can block it out of their system. How does that sit with you? Cambo was saying that he loves hearing people whinge about the bad weather.

DARREN CLARKE: Yeah, it's tough. If you're playing well, it will be great conditions to play in. If your ball striking is well and you can control what you're trying to do, it's always great to play in bad weather because you have an immediate advantage.

Q. How does the golf course look to you?

DARREN CLARKE: Yes, golf course is great. As tough as I remember from last year. But it's in great condition. They have done a great job with it. The rough is very thick, very penal. The bunkers are very tough; I was in a lot of them. The greens are fantastic. If somebody does play well and give themselves chances, they are going to hole putts because the greens are so good.

Q. What did you shoot today?

DARREN CLARKE: I don't know, 72, 73, 71, something like that.

Q. Inaudible?

DARREN CLARKE: Yes, it is occasionally in my job, I do tend to forget that now and then, but occasionally it is.

Q. So you have low expectations this week?

DARREN CLARKE: Yeah, most definitely, and mine are currently very low.

GORDON SIMPSON: Thanks very much and we'll see what the next few days bring.

End of FastScripts.

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