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THE IRISH OPEN


June 29, 2012


Darren Clarke


PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND

Q.テつ Nice way to finish your round, how do you feel about 69 in those conditions?
DARREN CLARKE:テつ Not badly.テつ We had good weather for most of the day and I played my first nine holes really nicely.テつ I was 3‑under, a couple more chances and then a poor bogey on 10.テつ Made a nice birdie on the second hole to get it back again but couldn't give myself many more chances after that and then the rain came in and made it a little more tricky.

Q.テつ This afternoon the breeze is supposed to get up another ten miles an hour; how much will that change the course?
DARREN CLARKE:テつ It will change it quite a lot but with the direction, this is the easiest breeze you can have at Royal Portrush.テつ As soon as it comes from any other direction, it starts playing more difficult because there's not an awful lot of holes that are straight in.テつ 9 and 10 are close to that, but they are both playing the proper par 5s as they should be.テつ But I think if it does get up, certainly it may get a bit more tricky.

Q.テつ Would you like to see it blowing?
DARREN CLARKE:テつ Most definitely, for any chance I've got, and if it does blow harder, then great.

Q.テつ Good finish, but maybe you would have wanted a couple more birdies?
DARREN CLARKE:テつ I would have liked to finish maybe with six or seven, but the golf course gives so much on the front nine and then a little bit tougher.

Q.テつ Conditions seem to be getting harder.
DARREN CLARKE:テつ Yeah, and that's a good thing.テつ The scoring yesterday was very, very good.テつ But the golf course is certainly a more difficult golf course than the scores yesterday.テつ But, you know, if you give these guys soft conditions, that's what's going to happen.

Q.テつ You were saying the wind is coming from an easy direction today.
DARREN CLARKE:テつ Probably the easiest direction that you can play Royal Portrush in.テつ A lot of the holes, not many, it's directly against, more across.テつ Over the weekend if it comes from another direction, it's certainly tougher.テつ
I look forward to the weekend and hopefully get a little bit of wind and rain and use a little bit of luck.

Q.テつ Satisfied with your day's work?
DARREN CLARKE:テつ I would have liked to have been better but 69 is not too bad.テつ We had some nice weather this morning, but after a very good start, made the most of it and then made a poor bogey on the 10th hole.テつ But kept on going and finished with a birdie on 9.

Q.テつ How hard was it playing the last nine holes?
DARREN CLARKE:テつ When the wind came down and that breeze, it was certainly playing a lot more difficult but that's links golf and the way it is.

Q.テつ What will you do this afternoon?
DARREN CLARKE:テつ Might have a few cocktails later.

Q.テつ And what about tomorrow?
DARREN CLARKE:テつ To have any chance, I need to go low but I'm still here, so, you know, hopefully have a few good rounds on the weekend.

Q.テつ It's all about local knowledge with Paul McGinley up there?
DARREN CLARKE:テつ Yeah, Paul's played really well here.テつ It's one of his favourite courses, as well.テつ You know, it's great to see him showing a lot of form again of late.

Q.テつ Good start, good finish and not bad in between there today?
DARREN CLARKE:テつ Yeah, overall, pretty good.テつ Got off to a good start.テつ First time was very solid, gave myself lots of chances and made a poor bogey on the first hole, which was my 10th, and sort of knocked me back a little bit but kept on going and made a really nice birdie on the 9th.

Q.テつ What about conditions?テつ You were right about the wind you predicted?
DARREN CLARKE:テつ We got lucky for most of the day and got rain the last four or five holes but that's links golf; you get good and bad.
Hopefully it will be a good weekend with all of the crowds again coming in, and just keeping the atmosphere going.

Q.テつ What about your own chances, I think 12‑under is the lead at the moment.
DARREN CLARKE:テつ I'm quite a way back but we'll see.テつ Just happy to be playing and see how we go.

Q.テつ The rain would be nice to go out, but as ambassador off Royal Portrush, how would you sum up the first two days?
DARREN CLARKE:テつ I think it's been wonderful.テつ I think the whole week has been wonderful.テつ It's shown how good the golf course is, how good the venue is as a tournament host, and you know, it's great to be part of it.

Q.テつ Good to see those crowds, and looks like you'll be quite close tomorrow?
DARREN CLARKE:テつ Yeah, that will be good as well.テつ The crowds are here to see everybody and it's wonderful to see so many people here.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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