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January 28, 2011

Darren Clarke

Miguel Angel Jimenez


Q. Miguel, I've got to ask you, how did your putter end up in two pieces?
DARREN CLARKE: It was -- I've got to take over here. He sort of missed another one from three-foot again. I think personally I think his backswing was a little bit wrong but the release was at the perfect and it just managed to catch the corner of the bag. It was a wonderful effort, I have to say. It was beautiful.

Q. There's no mercy with those boys, they don't have any sympathy for you.
MIGUEL ÁNGEL JIMÉNEZ: No, you see, after so many years on the Tour, have to support these guys, always joking with myself.
You know, I played so good and I had so many chances for birdie, like what you see on the screen, like three-foot a few times already, and well, I just put the putter and like Darren says, you know.
DARREN CLARKE: There was a shoulder turn involved.
MIGUEL ÁNGEL JIMÉNEZ: But the bag is coming to the putter.
DARREN CLARKE: Oh, oh, see, see, see.

Q. Will you have a new putter tomorrow? Because you putted better without it.
MIGUEL ÁNGEL JIMÉNEZ: I'm thinking now if I'm still putting with my lob-wedge. I make a birdie with that one.
DARREN CLARKE: His throwing was more accurate than his putting.

Q. Speaking of putting, 14 birdies in two rounds suggests José Maria Olazábal's lesson was working.
DARREN CLARKE: Yeah, it was better again. I had worked with Phil Kenyon in Abu Dhabi and José Maria spent a couple of hours with me on Saturday and I'm rolling the ball an awful lot better. If I could hole as many as him with a putter or a lob-wedge, I'd be doing okay. But he looked good with a lob-wedge. You know, the ball was jumping. You looked good. (Laughter).

Q. Is that typical of José Maria to give his time and information so freely?
DARREN CLARKE: Well, it is. We are both very good friends of José Maria, and you know, he's a gentleman, isn't he. He's one of the best guys in the game. He's a very kind man and very good man and always willing to help.
MIGUEL ÁNGEL JIMÉNEZ: Just tried to do the boomerang, it's boomeranging with the putter. I threw it away, I missed so many short putts today that I got desperate at that moment and just put the putter to the bag and I get the edge and break it. It's not the intention to break it, because as you know, it's supposed to be easy to putt with the putter and not with the lob-wedge.
But after putting with the lob-wedge is so good, I don't know if tomorrow I'm going to play with the putter.

Q. Well, putting with the lob-wedge, birdie, birdie, birdie, everything worked?
MIGUEL ÁNGEL JIMÉNEZ: Well, I'm still putting the ball close and hitting very good shots. I holed a lot of putts. But it's not the way. It's not the way. You cannot show that like it's the way to do.

Q. But you three go back a long way and you had a lot of fun with it on the tee and everybody passing the broken putter around.
MIGUEL ÁNGEL JIMÉNEZ: At the end you have to put a smile on your face, you know. The scores are not going to go better or worse because you are angry or sad or whatever. At the end of the day, you have to calm down and you have to enjoy yourself, and enjoy your people around. It's very important and like to see a smile on your face. That's the way.

Q. I guess it helps when you have two mates alongside you?
MIGUEL ÁNGEL JIMÉNEZ: We really had fun these two days.

Q. And you've played well?
MIGUEL ÁNGEL JIMÉNEZ: Played very well much hitting the ball very solid, very well.

Q. What do you think of Colin Montgomerie's design?
MIGUEL ÁNGEL JIMÉNEZ: Well, the greens, the more you play, the more sense you can see. A couple of the greens, they are a little bit too severe, overly difficult. But it's fine. It's good.

Q. And you've told him, whilst you are playing?
MIGUEL ÁNGEL JIMÉNEZ: No, we did not talk exactly that way. But at the beginning, the first day I started practising the other day -- the more you play, you can hit the ball. Obviously can you not play with fast greens because it's not going to be very good to find the pin positions but it's very good play and I think it's very fine.

Q. And tomorrow, lob-wedge?
MIGUEL ÁNGEL JIMÉNEZ: Tomorrow, I will try to repair my putter now.

Q. What's your take on the incident with Miguel Angel?
DARREN CLARKE: It's funny. We have all done it. I think between the three of us playing today, we have all spent a few years out here and we have all unfortunately done it. If you're playing nicely like Miguel was and missing a few putts, you're going to lose your temper. I think he made a very good shoulder turn and managed to get it right on the corner of the bag and it was good.

Q. And you showed no mercy.
DARREN CLARKE: Definitely got 6.0 on technique both from the course designer and myself, so it was a wonderful effort.

Q. And a wonderful effort by you, as well, nicely up on the board. Putting is good.
DARREN CLARKE: Better again. I gave myself a lot of chances today. I kept hitting it close, close, close. Overall I'm pleased with where I'm at going into the weekend. Certainly rolling a lot better. Pace is better, lines are better and the putts did I hit today, for the most part, I did hit pretty well.

Q. In part down to The Ryder Cup captain?
DARREN CLARKE: Yeah, José Maria has helped me, but he spent a lot of time with me and obviously it's better if I'm putting better. But I've got a brand new TaylorMade R11 driver this weekend which has given me, not an awful lot downwind but into the wind it's given me an extra ten to 12 yards, which is making a huge difference here because you can carry some of the mounds and some of the bunkers. All in all my game is pretty good.

Q. And those greens are not as bad as you thought?
DARREN CLARKE: I think the Tour have been very smart with the pin positions. I think Monty told them not to go silly and you know, there's quite a few generous pin positions out there, as you can see from the scoring. But saying that, if you miss that in the wrong place, you're going to struggle to get up-and-down. All in all I think the course has played very well over the first two days.

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