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August 28, 2008

Darren Clarke


Q. A round with its share of up-and-downs, what do you think about 1-under today?
DARREN CLARKE: Well, it's a good score I think. It was tricky out there. The wind was moving about a little bit. The greens were very tricky as I'm sure everybody who was watching on television and indeed playing noticed. So anything under par this afternoon, I'm delighted with.

Q. What's mind-set when the greens are that tricky?
DARREN CLARKE: You just have to hit as good of putts as you can. A couple got me there at the end but I'm sure everybody is going to have the same sort of thing on that and it's just unfortunate.
A little bit of rain softened the greens up and that's not really what you want but it's the same for everybody. You have to try and do it and we're going to hopefully have the better of the greens tomorrow morning, so try to make most of that.

Q. Looks like your patience will be tested.
DARREN CLARKE: I think the fact that I went bogey, bogey, bogey and managed to birdie the last shows that I'm doing okay.
It's tricky. It's tough out there and you know you're going to make mistakes, maybe not through your open fault. You hit good shots on there and you maybe have a decent shot into the wind, 3-iron to 30 feet and still have a lot of work to get it done in two, but that's the way it is this week.

Q. How satisfying is it to show Captain Faldo good form?
DARREN CLARKE: On not one of my favourite venues, it has to be said. I'm delighted with that. I was very patient today. I almost convinced myself last night that I loved this golf course, almost.

Q. How do you feel about your prospects for the rest of the week?
DARREN CLARKE: I just have to go play. I hit a lot of good shots, a couple of clear ones, didn't quite get behind the ball as I wanted to and consequently pulled a few. Overall I'm pretty pleased. 1-under par in those conditions I think is a good score.

Q. Did you speak to Lee Westwood? Seething about the greens, he was.
DARREN CLARKE: Next question! Next question! (Laughter) I'm trying to love this place, so you're not going to get that one out of me.

Q. What were you doing last night to try to convince yourself you love this place?
DARREN CLARKE: I just had a bit of a chat with Ewen and a bit of a chat with Karl Morris and just said, you've just got to get on with things and accept it. The greens are going to jump up and grab everybody at some stage this week. I hit a poor shot at 15 and deserved to make bogey there. And 16 I missed a short one and jumped straight right as soon as I hit it.
And 17, I misjudged the breeze a little bit and hit a pure putt that managed to get out. But that's just the way it is.

Q. Are you still thinking about The Ryder Cup issue and is it affecting your game in any way?
DARREN CLARKE: Well, yeah, obviously I'm thinking about it a little bit. But you know, I can only do -- I can only play as well as I can play. I played pretty well last week and if I keep playing the way that I am, then, you know, hopefully I'll give myself a chance of being one of those picks. That's the only thing I can do is keep playing the way I've been playing.

Q. You still haven't heard anything?
DARREN CLARKE: Not a peep from anybody, and nor would I expect to. I think it would be unprofessional I think if Nick was to say anything to anybody. And I think he's the ultimate professional when it comes to that, so I wouldn't expect to hear anything.

Q. And same for other people in contention?
DARREN CLARKE: Most definitely. It's not just me. Reading from what you guys have said, nobody has heard anything, and that's the way it should be.

Q. Lee's point about the greens is that if you build them properly, it doesn't matter how much rain will go on them --
DARREN CLARKE: Derek, I love the golf course.

Q. You don't want to get into agronomy at this point in time.
DARREN CLARKE: Well, they are tough. They are soft. They are very, very soft. The whole course is very soft. They have had an awful lot of rain, and when you have greens like this which are poa greens and it rains, it gets soft and you end up with same sort of thing as we've got i.e., at Wentworth and that sort of stuff. They have had a huge amount of rainfall here and I'm not justifying it, I'm just saying that's the way they are.

Q. Architect hat off, you can build them now that it doesn't matter how much rain.
DARREN CLARKE: You can. You can. I think before The Ryder Cup does come here, I think they may have to address that issue. Obviously with The Ryder Cup being on the date that it it's going to be at, end of -- when is it, September, beginning of October, something like that, you expect rain here. So hopefully they will take a look at it and fix it.

Q. Did you have any one- or two-foot putts where you were certain the ball was going to run into the hole?
DARREN CLARKE: Every one of them. Every one of them. You can only hit the putt as good as you can and after that, you just hope it goes in.

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