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August 31, 2008

Darren Clarke


Q. Yesterday you told us you hit the ball well and the greens let you down; what about today?
DARREN CLARKE: Similar today. I made a couple bad shots early on, made a bad swing and lost it ten yards right of the green on. And lost the ball and made double, and the momentum I had, I could not quite regain it from there.
I hit the ball there and I've come here and tried as hard as I possibly could this week. The course doesn't it fit my eye, diplomatic way of putting it, but tried as much as I possibly could.

Q. Can the course take much more rain?
DARREN CLARKE: Not really. If any more heavy showers come down, the greens are close to being flooded as they are, and this rain needs to go over pretty quick, and any more consistent heavy downpours, they will be off again.

Q. 2004 Bernhard Langer was on site when players were finishing and called people up to his room to tell people his decision one way or the other. Faldo is here; do you expect that to happen?
DARREN CLARKE: I wouldn't imagine so. I'm leaving very shortly.

Q. Will you have your phone in your hand?
DARREN CLARKE: I don't know, at the end of the day, I've tried as hard as I could to make the team. And you know, I've been committed to The European Tour and I tried to do everything that I could. I played well in patches and gave myself a chance.
So hopefully Nick, if he decides I'm fit for a pick, then fantastic. I'd desperately love to be a part of the team. And if not, I've got no axe to grind whatsoever.

Q. Would you be desolated not to be picked?
DARREN CLARKE: Desolated is a very strong word. No, I'd be disappointed. As I said earlier in the week, it's the captain's choice of who he wants to pick on the team. I'd love to be part of the team. I'd love to be going there. I think I could contribute to the team. It's one of the things I said to you guys all along, and I'm very happy with the way I'm playing at the moment.

Q. Given where you were last December, it's a hell of a comeback.
DARREN CLARKE: Last December, where was I, 256th in the World Rankings, and now I'm 56th. Unfortunately I couldn't quite get it going out there today to climb up a little bit more, but I'm back on track. I'm very happy with all the work, and I've worked hard. I've worked really hard to get in the position where I'm back speaking to you guys again, which is always a good thing. (Laughter) I did say that, yes, I did.

Q. If you do get a pick, and we all hope you do, what would you bring to the team?
DARREN CLARKE: I don't know, that's for you guys to figure out. That's for you guys to say.

Q. Experience?
DARREN CLARKE: I've been there before and I've been part of winning teams. As I say, I can't do anything. I've played my heart out, and if Nick decides I'm worth a pick, then fantastic, I'd love to be there.

Q. Does four rookies on the team increase your chances?
DARREN CLARKE: I don't know. Again, that's Nick's call. It's not mine.

Q. What is it about The Ryder Cup that you really cherish and want and yearn for?

DARREN CLARKE: We all want it, don't we, obviously with some of the stuff that's gone on this week. Everybody wants to be part of the team, they do. We don't have this opportunity to play team professional golf that often, and The Ryder Cup stirs up emotions, some of which we've already seen. But everybody desperately wants to be there; the fact that Europe have been on such a good run; the guys want to be on the team.
You know, fair play to the guys that have qualified and you know, I think this week a lot of them have shown a lot of talent, Justin and Oliver Wilson and Søren Hansen, Martin Kaymer; unfortunate to miss a couple of short ones on his last couple of holes.
Still, European golf is pretty strong right now.

Q. Standing on the first tee at The K Club, circumstances were pretty special --
DARREN CLARKE: No doubt, Ryder Cup has been very special to me for obvious reasons at The K Club. The Ryder Cup has been good to me. It's been kind to me. I've played in five and I've enjoyed every one of them. They are a tingling experience for the week but we all want to try there. If you are not nervous, you are in the wrong game.

Q. Four winning teams, as well.
DARREN CLARKE: I've been lucky; I had good teammates.

Q. Did you think it was a longshot last December?
DARREN CLARKE: I don't know if I thought it was a longshot or not. Obviously I wasn't playing my best golf but I knew and I know how I'm capable of playing. I've done that a few times this year, and you know what, I plan to get back up the World Rankings and get back in the big tournaments I haven't been able to play in this year; I sorely missed them.

Q. And you had two wins this year, too.
DARREN CLARKE: In different manners and different fashions. I holed a good putt on the last green in China and then I got a little bit more comfortable last week. It was good to get back in the winner's enclosure and win twice in different fashions.

Q. What's your reasonable World Ranking target by the end of the year?
DARREN CLARKE: Somewhere where I can sit down and have my Christmas lunch and know I'm playing in all of the big tournaments, wherever that may be.

Q. Is this tournament on your schedule next year?
DARREN CLARKE: I'll give you two guesses, and I think your first one would be right.

End of FastScripts

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