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July 10, 2010

Darren Clarke


MICHAEL GIBBONS: Darren, thanks for joining us. At the start of the day you probably thought you would still be leading after a 67 but the man you were playing against did played spectacularly well but you're still in it, give us your thoughts.
DARREN CLARKE: Yeah, to be leading by three and shoot 4-under par, I didn't think I would be behind. But apart from two shots, my tee shot on the fifth and when I tried to get smart with the pitch on 13, there isn't a shot I would have taken back.
I was very pleased with the way I hit the ball, with everything, the way I managed my way around the course to give myself lots of chances, and just didn't quite make the putts I've been making the first couple of days.
MICHAEL GIBBONS: You must be pretty excited to go into tomorrow.
DARREN CLARKE: Yeah, as I said yesterday there will be a little bit of nervousness mixed with excitement and that's exactly what it will be tomorrow. I can take a lot from the fact that I man managed to birdie the last there to not let Edoardo have a two-shot lead tomorrow. But all in all, I'm delighted with the way I played today.

Q. How is your Italian, because you're going to be playing with both of them.
DARREN CLARKE: Apparently so. Apparently so. It will be fine, they are both nice guys so I have no problems playing with them tomorrow at all. It will be okay.

Q. Have you played with Edoardo before?
DARREN CLARKE: Have I played with Edoardo a few times before? No. I've played with Francesco a few times before, but not Edoardo. Edoardo was very impressive, as well.

Q. Can you talk about the importance of the last putt and how excited are you going into the last round?
DARREN CLARKE: Yeah, I'm looking forward to it. It's a far cry from where I was a month ago, whenever you saw me last, probably at Sunningdale, and giving myself another chance to win a tournament again. And if I do that, there's a few added bonuses that come along with it. So I want to go out there and just play the way I played today.

Q. Can you remember when was the last time that you felt this kind of nervous excitement and having that feeling back?
DARREN CLARKE: Every pro gets nervous when they get a chance to win a tournament, and I had a chance to win, where were we, South Africa at the start of the year in Joburg; so that's just standard for how we feel. We may look calm and selected on the outside but everybody is a little bit nervous and excited on the inside. You wouldn't be normal unless you were.

Q. The last four rounds, including Limerick, 68, 65, 67, 67, and I know you were saying earlier in the week that you felt happier with your game, but are you surprised that you've been putting these numbers on the board?
DARREN CLARKE: No, no, not at all. The way I was hitting the ball, I was fine. The putting was the thing that was affecting me, and getting in my own way because of it, and so I'm not surprised, not in the slightest.

Q. To win the tournament, or to qualify for The Open, which is paramount?
DARREN CLARKE: Which is paramount, that's a typically tough question from you. I can't really answer that. Obviously to win here, because it's Barclays, because they've been a sponsor of mine for a long time, and so to do so qualify for The Open which is the biggest and best tournament in the world at the home of golf in St. Andrews; if I were to do that, then one takes care of the other. So I'm not going to place any importance on which one, but if I play well, one will take care of the other.

Q. Are you thinking about The Ryder Cup now, as well?
DARREN CLARKE: Well, we'll see how I play tomorrow. We'll see. But The Ryder Cup is not really on my -- with the way I've performed thus far this year, it's not really something that I've been thinking a lot about. At the start of the year, yes, I was, but with the way that I've played, I've distanced myself further and further from it. But there's still a ways to go. So depends how I play from here to then. I need to win a couple of times to have any respectable chance of Monty even considering me.

Q. You are not thinking of the Ryder Cup at all?
DARREN CLARKE: No. I need to win a couple of times before the team is selected. I know if I was captain, that's the way I would be looking at it, and Monty is obviously much smarter than me.

Q. You will be close to the Team if you win here.
DARREN CLARKE: Will I? You know better than I do. I've got no idea. I haven't even looked -- well, there, look, you're full of facts and figures. We'll see. At the end of the day I've just got to play well, that's all. That's the bottom line.
MICHAEL GIBBONS: To be continued. Thank you, Darren.

End of FastScripts

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