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August 2, 2008

Darren Clarke


DARREN CLARKE: I actually didn't quite play so well, especially on the back nine, struggled a little bit. But I hit it close enough and knocked a few putts in. Not big long things or anything, but just holed a few. I like this place, I've played well here before, so pretty enjoyable.

Q. Do you feed off those memories when you get it going?
DARREN CLARKE: Yeah, a little bit. You know, I obviously played very well here to win, so I know the golf course, I know where I should miss and where I shouldn't miss. I made a silly mistake on 18, and so be it. But 65 is a pretty good score.

Q. What's a satisfactory score for the leaders teeing off. It seems to have gone up a little bit.
DARREN CLARKE: Yeah, it has gone up a little bit. It's tricky out there. At Wentworth the wind tends to swirl around a little bit, and if you stand on the tee and pick the wind and get it wrong, you can look quite foolish. So it is very tricky when the wind does pick up like this. I think probably 67, 66 would be a pretty good score.

Q. Ryder Cup-wise you're a long way back, but there's still a few weeks to go. How do you feel about that?
DARREN CLARKE: Yeah, I'm a long way out of it at the moment, and I need to show an excellent form, need to play well in the next -- I've got four tournaments left and I need to play well in those. If I do, he may consider me for a pick, and if I don't, I'll be watching it on TV like everybody else. I'm just trying to play as well as I can and we'll see what happens.

Q. This week and next week in particular are two pretty significant weeks, aren't they?
DARREN CLARKE: Yeah, the way I played those three weeks at home, where I missed those three cuts in a row, that was three big tournaments where I needed to play well, and I didn't play well. So come out here, playing this week and next week, and those two weeks at home, the Dutch and the Johnnie Walker, I have to play well if I even want to be considered for a pick. That's the way I look at it.
Those are the facts, and that's what I have to do. If I do play well, if I do start playing well like I did today, I think I would be an addition to the team. And if I don't play well, I would not be. I would not expect a pick.
I just want to play as well as I can and see where it takes me.

Q. A round like that today, that's got to give you a kick-start?
DARREN CLARKE: Yeah, definitely. It's a tough golf course. It's a tricky, tricky golf course. Today I played really well. Unfortunately I made bogey on the last, but overall I'm pretty pleased with the way I played.

Q. Why are you playing better? What are you doing well at the moment?
DARREN CLARKE: I think all summer long and probably the past three, four months I've pushed and pushed and pushed and tried too hard and practiced too hard and worked too hard. I've wanted to play too well too much, whereas now I'm sort of filled out a little bit and just play and enjoy it and see what that brings. I'm sure you've heard guys say before, if you try too hard sometimes it goes the opposite way, and that's what I've been doing. I've been desperate to play really well, and I couldn't quite do it.

Q. Just coming here with that familiarity, does that help that process?
DARREN CLARKE: Yes and no. I know how tough the golf course is, as well. That's the other side of it. It's always good where you've won on venues before to go back to them because you do have good memories. So from that point of view, probably yes.

Q. In terms of hitting the ball, though, and technique, what are you pleased with this week?
DARREN CLARKE: My putting seems to have improved, my whole action improved, which is what I've really struggled with all year. It's really good to get back onto pure greens again, as good as these are, and I start rolling in those four- or five-footers to save par. I haven't been making those this year, and that puts me on the back foot straightaway, like anybody, because it's a very difficult game mentally if you're not doing that. The fact that this week I've knocked a few in -- I've gone back to my old method, wider stance and slightly higher hands.

Q. Different technique, same tool?
DARREN CLARKE: No difference -- well, similar putter that I picked up. I've just gone back to old ways again. I've been working so hard at home, it's nice to actually come out and play well.

End of FastScripts

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