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July 11, 2010

Darren Clarke


Q. Was that one of the longest days of your career?
DARREN CLARKE: It definitely was after my start, poor bogey on 2 and end up making 7 on 3; with those tough conditions, I was on the back foot very early on and trying to grind out a score, probably kept my eye on the leaderboard more than I should have done and consequently struggled so much.
I didn't play well enough to give myself enough chances.

Q. You played in every Open at St. Andrews since you turned pro, you desperately wanted to be there this week and it was the Last Chance Saloon but you're drinking champagne tonight, Darren.
DARREN CLARKE: Yeah, it's a consolation prize, but I'm delighted that I managed to finish Top-5 this week. If somebody said you'd finish second, I would probably have taken it.
The way I played the first two rounds and the position I put myself in, I'm obviously a little bit, you know, down with it, but overall, I go to St. Andrews and hopefully reproduce more of my first three rounds of golf than the last one.

Q. Tough day, I know, but you've got the prize of The Open Championship next week, tell us how big the disappointment is.
DARREN CLARKE: Huge, because it's the Barclays Scottish Open, I desperately wanted to win here and I've come close in the past before. I wasn't able to do it.
I got off to a horrible start and got myself off on the back foot early on and with conditions as tough as they were it was always going to be a grind for me. What was initially going to be an enjoyable tough day turned into a grind very early on.

Q. How did you feel starting out?
DARREN CLARKE: It was great. I was fine, and then, you know, my second shot into 3 was maybe three-foot out, and paid the penalty for it and from there on, another 3-putt on 5, so 4-over after five or six holes and I'm going, what's going on here, this is just completely alien to us. But I'm pretty proud of myself. I struggled all the way around on the back nine, as well, and hung in there and made a fantastic birdie on 17.

Q. You seemed to hold it together really well, kept the smile on your face.
DARREN CLARKE: It was tough. I just told myself, be patient and hopefully something will turn around and come the right direction. It didn't until 17 when I made a really nice two there, but overall I can't complain much for the way it went.
Going to St. Andrews, it's a huge plus for me, I would have been missing The Open at St. Andrew, the home of golf, would have been particularly disappointing but it's a nice consolation prize.
I just want to keep on playing, and, you know, as I said, there's no par 5s or water at St. Andrews, so if I get the 3-wood over the water, mightn't come back into. I was really looking forward to it when I saw the weather, just didn't quite perform.

Q. Looking ahead to St. Andrews, do you think you'll be able to compete?
DARREN CLARKE: My game, today, obviously with the conditions that we went out in early on, I got off to a terrible start. And from there on, you know, I was trying to minimise my mistakes. It wasn't a day where you could have a go at the course and grab a lot of birdies and come back again. The first three rounds I was happy with the way I played and today I'm actually in a funny sort of way that I hung in there on the back nine and ground it out and managed to finish second.

Q. A lot of punters are rooting for you to win again and their heads were in their hands on that hole --
DARREN CLARKE: Well, they weren't the only one, were they.

Q. What was that like?
DARREN CLARKE: I thought I could get it out. I thought I could get it out twice. But, you know --

Q. Ultimately, did that cost you?
DARREN CLARKE: Definitely. It cost me the chance of winning the tournament, yes, it did. But if I was there, I would do exactly the same thing again. I'd have another go at it again.

Q. It's that sort of positive approach; you're going for it basically.
DARREN CLARKE: Yeah, of course I was. I didn't come here to finish second. So you know, I wanted to give myself a chance and unfortunately it just didn't come off this time.

Q. What are you going to take out of this looking ahead to this week?
DARREN CLARKE: I wasn't in The Open and obviously I'm in The Open now. I had to score around the back nine; I did that. I had a couple of great up-and-downs and I made a great birdie on 17.
On last there, I looked at the leaderboard and didn't make any difference if I 3-putted or not, so I tried to make the first one so the last one really didn't make any difference.
I did what I had to do and unfortunately it wasn't quite good enough to win the tournament, but at least I'm in playing next week.

End of FastScripts

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