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THE IRISH OPEN


June 30, 2012


Darren Clarke


PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND

Q.テつ Disappointing finish?
DARREN CLARKE:テつ Most definitely.テつ Played really, really nicely all day, gave myself lots of chances, just a shame, not a bad putt all day.テつ Lipped‑out and we knew with the rain and wind the last few holes were going to play tough.テつ 17, I tugged my tee shot into the long stuff and made double from there.
Couldn't reach the fairway from 17.テつ But tough conditions but that's what I did.

Q.テつ Out of the blocks early, as well.
DARREN CLARKE:テつ Got off to a great start and kept giving myself chances and just couldn't putt from anywhere.テつ Didn't birdie 9 and 10, and had other chances.

Q.テつ How difficult are those conditions to play in this morning?
DARREN CLARKE:テつ Well, a lot easier now that we have just finished.テつ We were right in the middle of it all.テつ It was tough out there.テつ That's Royal Portrush in wind and rain, that's what it's supposed to be.

Q.テつ This morning it was blowing hard particularly at No. 7 straight into you.
DARREN CLARKE:テつ A few holes are playing particularly long; 9 and 10 were playing particularly long; and 7, and 14, 15, 16, 17 are all playing really long.

Q.テつ Fair play to the Northern Ireland golf fans.
DARREN CLARKE:テつ Definitely.テつ To see them all out there in those brutal conditions, it's a testament to the support of the tournament.

Q.テつ A lot of positives?
DARREN CLARKE:テつ I really played nicely.テつ I just couldn't make a putt from anywhere, putts lipping out and just couldn't get the combination of line and pace right all day.テつ I was almost there.テつ Bogeyed 7 and didn't birdie 9 and 10.テつ I had chances at 11, 12, 13, 15, and chances everywhere, just couldn't make a putt.

Q.テつ Any parallels with Royal St. George's?
DARREN CLARKE:テつ I hit a lot of really good shots today, a lot of them.テつ It was just tough conditions, tough links golf.テつ But you know, I had an awful lot of really good shots and gave myself lots of chances and I just didn't take the chances that I had.

Q.テつ Rusty?
DARREN CLARKE:テつ I know the greens inside out.テつ I hit good putts.

Q.テつ Would you mind going through 17?
DARREN CLARKE:テつ 17 I pulled my tee shot left.テつ Couldn't reach the fairway that the stage.テつ We were only hitting my driver 235 full‑out.テつ I think the carry must be 250 to the fairway and I pulled it a little bit into the long stuff.テつ Hacked an 8‑iron, tried to hack, an 8‑iron 80 yards forward, hit a 3‑wood trying to chase that down and pulled it just into the bunker.
And the flag is at the very back of the green, so I had a 75‑yard bunker shot and I was not going to try to get it all the way back there because of the bushes right behind the flag, hit it a bit heavy and came off about 50, 60 feet short and 3‑putted.

Q.テつ How do you tend to react to rounds like today, disappointed or will the focus be on the positive?
DARREN CLARKE:テつ I'm disappointed to finish the way that I finished but the course is tough and sometimes that happens on links courses.テつ But I had an awful lot of good shots and gave myself a lot of chances.
Even though I bogeyed 7 from the middle of the fairway, I was thinking to get myself back up there.テつ I knew conditions were going to be tough and my goal was to finish at 8‑under, and I had the chances to do it and just didn't quite pull it off.テつ It was the conditions I wanted for today and I didn't quite capitalise on my chances.

Q.テつ The 9 and 10 were what you expected?
DARREN CLARKE:テつ They played like what we should have done, especially playing into the wind and the rain.テつ Still give you chances.

Q.テつ The rust, does that go away with a couple of rounds of tournament golf?
DARREN CLARKE:テつ You just practise a bit and play a bit and I'll be all right.

Q.テつ It's coming?
DARREN CLARKE:テつ My game is good, though.テつ It's a fantastic golf course.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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