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July 20, 2006

Darren Clarke


DARREN CLARKE: Obviously the back nine was a lot better than the front. I had quite a few poor shots in the middle of the front nine. I managed to hang in there and get some good up and downs. I hit some good shots on the back nine. 69 is a pretty decent start.

Q. You had a great back nine.

DARREN CLARKE: There's opportunities out there if you do hit it on the fairway. The greens were a bit more receptive than they have been, because of the overnight rain. I made the most of it. I got lucky with the draw.

Q. Given what's going on and the fact that Thomas Bjorn said that only someone as talented as you can do what you're doing. Do you feel that way, yourself?

DARREN CLARKE: You never believe a word Thomas says. I don't know, I'm just trying to go out there and do as well as I can at the moment. The past few weeks I've been pretty good until Sunday afternoons and I had a phone call last night from con or owe Brian, who is the doctor to the Irish Olympic team, he's a friend and he's noticed me this last couple of weeks looking a bit dehydrated and not quite doing what I should be doing on the back nines on Sunday. So he had a few tips for me last night and told me what to do and it seemed to work today.

Q. It's such a special event for you, the British Open, and it's the one major you absolutely covet, can you win it in the circumstances?

DARREN CLARKE: I've got no idea. To tell you the truth, I just don't know. I'm going to go out and play and keep doing what I'm doing, and if I play the way that I've played then I might have a chance to get myself in contention come Sunday. That's all I'm looking for.

Q. You haven't had that much of a look at the course, really, this week, because you arrived on Tuesday. How do you feel out there today?

DARREN CLARKE: The course is fantastic. I read somewhere, some article slagging the course off and saying it wasn't up to holding an Open Championship. I have to say I don't know what course they were looking at, because if you take a look at this, it's pure links, it's as good as it gets. You've got to think it's one of the best bunker positioned courses in the world that we play. You've got to think all the way around. You can putt it, chip it, hit a 5 iron from 40 yards. You can do whatever you want. In essence that's links golf.

Q. It suits your eye?

DARREN CLARKE: Yes, I've grown up doing it. It seems to at the moment, anyway.

Q. What did Connor say to you?

DARREN CLARKE: He just told me to get lots of isotonic drinks into me. He told me to take some last night and a lot this morning and keep drinking as much as I possibly can. And as soon as you come off, do the same again.

He's obviously an expert in his field. He knows what he's looking at and it was very obvious to him, watching from what he does, that that was one of my problems.

Q. Have you neglected that in the past?

DARREN CLARKE: I probably have neglected that. With all that's been going on, I haven't been thinking about that side of it. So I probably just forget.

Q. How did you get to meet the Olympic team doctor?

DARREN CLARKE: I've known him for a long time. He's a member at Portmarnock. I've known him for a long time.

Q. Was part of you disappointed that it rained this morning? Did it take the sting out of the course a bit?

DARREN CLARKE: It totally took the sting out of the course. It would have been great to play it the way it was yesterday. Yesterday it was right on the edge. It was perfect yesterday afternoon. But the rain has softened it up and made it a little bit easier. If we don't get any more rain, I'm sure we will get back to the way it was yesterday.

Q. If that happens do you think you'll have an advantage over the other guys?

DARREN CLARKE: I don't know. It's just nice to play a tournament where you can land it four yards short of the green if you want to. You don't have to fly it over water or fly it over a bunker. You can run it up; that's just links golf. It's nice to play a course that's set up absolutely perfect for a major.

Q. What are you using, your driver a lot?

DARREN CLARKE: A little bit, but the wind dictates what you hit off the tee. If you want to be aggressive enough and take bunkers on, you can. If you want to be sensible

Q. How much more fluid was in your system?

DARREN CLARKE: Lots, lots more.

Q. You putted well today?

DARREN CLARKE: Yes, I did. I putted an awful lot better today than I have done for quite some time.

Q. Was any of that fluid you were taking in the black color?

DARREN CLARKE: Unfortunately not. About the 7th green I wish it was.

End of FastScripts.

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