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JOHNNIE WALKER CHAMPIONSHIP AT GLENEAGLES


August 22, 2012


Darren Clarke


AUCHTERARDER, SCOTLAND

SCOTT CROCKETT:テつ Welcome as always, just commenting on the lovely Gleneagles Tartan trousers, just tell us your thoughts about being here for the week.
DARREN CLARKE:テつ Yeah, I haven't been for a while.テつ I've heard about all of the changes they have done to the golf course.テつ I haven't played all of them yet but the ones that I saw yesterday certainly were massive improvements.
SCOTT CROCKETT:テつ Big week not just for this championship but also The Ryder Cup, and congratulations on your captaincy appointment. テつWe know how much The Ryder Cup means to you; give us your thoughts on that.
DARREN CLARKE:テつ Yeah, obviously delighted to be part of the team again to help in whatever small way that I can, and Josテδゥ Maria and I have been friends for a very, very long time.テつ I was honoured that he asked me go and help.
Right now, obviously the team that we have at the moment, the ten players that are in at the moment, there's no rookies in those Top‑10, which I believe is the first time that's ever happened.
So it's a very strong team.テつ But against that, the American Team would probably be the team that's in form more at the moment.テつ So consequently, we'll probably be slide underdogs going to America.テつ It will be fantastic to be there, to be part of it and try to help in whatever way I can.
SCOTT CROCKETT:テつ How much are you looking forward to competing this week?
DARREN CLARKE:テつ Yeah, I didn't play too bad at Kiawah.テつ Had a week off at home and hurt myself on Thursday, my back, and have some tablets and what‑have‑you‑this week.テつ So looking forward to getting out and having treatment.
SCOTT CROCKETT:テつ Spa treatment?
DARREN CLARKE:テつ No, haven't had to get that far yet.

Q.テつ In the past, your comments about that the greens would get too soft, and now with the change to using the same SubAir systems as Augusta‑‑
DARREN CLARKE:テつ That can only help.テつ To have that system in here, we are not too far way from where I live and we do get a lot of rain.テつ The SubAir system is in there, invested heavily in the golf course with the SubAir and the re‑design of some of the course; that's bound to help with the amount of rain that we get.
But I think with the forecast this week, we'll find out how good the SubAir is unfortunately, but it will definitely help and it's good to see them putting in the investment to do that.

Q.テつ Have you seen some of the changes, what about the 18th?
DARREN CLARKE:テつ Just standing outside here.テつ But 18 is one of those holes where you can make a 5, maybe make a 4 and you would have to do something silly to make a 6.テつ Whereas now, looking at it, you can make a 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7, it's one of those.テつ So it's going to add an awful lot more excitement to the last hole than before.
I think if you look at any challenge around the world, the last hole, the one that you can have that possible three‑shot swing, they are the really excitement, exciting holes, and this certainly looks like it now.

Q.テつ What you said years ago about the course, it was perceived as that would damage your chances about becoming captain for The Matches in two years; is your hat now in it?
DARREN CLARKE:テつ Is my hat now in it?テつ I think it's a case of, if The Ryder Cup Committee were to ask me to be captain, then I don't think it would be‑‑ I think it would be very disrespectful to say no wherever they asked me.
My hat has never been out of it.テつ I still hope to play a little bit more yet.テつ But you know, if I was asked by The Ryder Cup Committee to be captain, either here or Hazeltine or wherever, it would be a very tough position to say no.

Q.テつ When did Josテδゥ Maria to ask you to be vice captain?
DARREN CLARKE:テつ When did the press release go out?テつ Was it Thursday?テつ So Wednesday night.テつ He hadn't mentioned it to me before, I thought he had not mentioned it to Thomas or anybody, so he called me and asked me on Wednesday night.

Q.テつ Was that perceived, you had to get an invitationto play this week?テつ
DARREN CLARKE:テつ No, I've done that before.テつ I'd asked Chubby to see if he can get me an invite to play, because I haven't‑‑ the fact that he's asked me to be vice captain has nothing to do with the fact that I am playing here this week.テつ I asked Chubby, I have not played a lot of golf this season for one reasonor another.テつ We were in the Bahamas, and I said to Chubby, "I would like to play at Gleneagles."
He said, "Well, you're too late."
And I said, "Would you see if you can get me an invite," and fortunately he was able to get me one.

Q.テつ Being a Ryder Cup Captain, would that sort of complete your career?
DARREN CLARKE:テつ I don't know if it would‑‑ it would be an honour to be a Ryder Cup Captain, but you've got to be asked.テつ But I think we have more imminent Ryder Cup than what you're asking me about, about being a captain.テつ The most important one is right now in a few weeks now.

Q.テつ Can you speak a wee bit about Paul Lawrie getting into the team, and is that a new hat into that ring for 2014, as well?
DARREN CLARKE:テつ Possibly.テつ People that have been talked about of late, obviously he's been one of them.テつ But Paul, he's Open Champion and he's been a very good player and it's good to see him back on the year that he's had it and he deserves it and he's on the team.テつ He's been there and done it before, as well and knows what to expect.
Especially going away with an away match, you need all the experience that you can, and especially going to somewhere like Chicago.テつ I think he will be a huge addition to the team because he knows what to expect when he gets there.

Q.テつ Did anything two years ago about being a vice captain surprise you?
DARREN CLARKE: テつYeah, I wanted to go out ‑‑ the clubs a few people hit on some shots; I thought, let me hit that one, I'll hit a little cut in there, a little draw or whatever.テつ That was the hardest part of it, watching some of the guys play and hitting completely opposite sort of shots that I would hit; but they were on the team and I wasn't on the team.テつ That was the hard part.
But the rest of it was great; to be able to be there.テつ I'll do what I can.

Q.テつ Winning The Open last year, and becoming a Ryder Cup vice captain, not really on the radar at the time?
DARREN CLARKE:テつ Yeah, I would have liked to have kicked on from that and been part of the team but as it's turned out that's been the way.テつ So I'm delighted to go and help them in whatever way I can.

Q.テつ Just going back to the comments you made, is it fair to say that it was more the conditions of the greens at the time than the test of golf?
DARREN CLARKE:テつ Probably more due to fact that I shot 77, as well, I don't think that probably wouldn't have left me in the best of humour.
But yeah, the greens especially here being very bumpy and full of heel marks and what‑have‑you, and the amount of rain.テつ So with this whole SubAir system that they have put out, it will suck the moisture out of them and they will be much, much better.

Q.テつ And you played yesterday?
DARREN CLARKE:テつ Yeah, they were a lot better yesterday than what I've experienced before.
SCOTT CROCKETT:テつ Thank you very much.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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