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January 9, 2014

Darren Clarke


Q.テつ How satisfying was that?
DARREN CLARKE:テつテつ It was good. I've played at Durban Country Club over the years.テつ This might be my 15th tournament here, so I know what the course is like and I know how difficult it plays.テつ It's a case of keeping shots in play and work your way around from there and I did that today.

Q.テつ A course you like?
DARREN CLARKE:テつテつ I've had good and bad here.テつ But it's a tough golf course when you get a breeze.

Q.テつ Is there any element of surprise as to how well you've shot a first round score?
DARREN CLARKE:テつテつ No, no, not really.テつ Been working hard at home in whatever weather conditions have permitted me to do so at home.テつ My ball‑striking has been okay but early in the season, your timing is always going to be a little bit suspect.テつ But all in all I hit some really good shots.

Q.テつ Been working hard on physique, as well?
DARREN CLARKE:テつテつ Yeah, feeling strong.テつ I reached 10 today, whatever it was, hit it 300 off the tee into the wind and hit driver from 285 to 12 feet and I couldn't have reached there maybe five, six months ago.テつ So hopefully it will pay off.

Q.テつ How much weight have you lost?
DARREN CLARKE:テつテつ Enough but a little bit more won't do any harm.

Q.テつ Is it a regime that's become second nature or still very awkward?
DARREN CLARKE:テつテつ No, it's fine.テつ It's something, I took a look at myself in October and thought it's time to make a change.

Q.テつ Feeling better for it?
DARREN CLARKE: テつテつCurrently, yes.

Q.テつ Conditions that probably suit you more than most?
DARREN CLARKE:テつテつ Yeah, well, I don't know if the conditions suit anybody but certainly I've played enough here in the past over the years to know how difficult the golf course is.テつ Maybe that and a little bit of experience to know where you can hit and can't hit it and I was able to do that for the most part.

Q.テつ And the honour of Volvo Golf Champions rewarding players who have won ten or more tournaments through their career?
DARREN CLARKE:テつテつ It's wonderful to be here.テつ Much nicer than sitting back at home.テつ You know, Volvo are huge supporter of The European Tour and we have a great field here this week and with the prize money they have put up, they ought to be commended for support on The European Tour.

Q.テつ Much has been made in the build up to this tournament for the work you've done off the golf course, was it a conscious decision at any point in time?
DARREN CLARKE:テつテつ It was definitely a conscious decision.テつ I was getting too big, too heavy, too lethargic and decided to do something about it.テつ I spent a lot of time in the gym working hard, changed my diet, did all that sort of stuff.テつ So hopefully I'll reap the benefits of it.

Q.テつ If conditions stay like this, you fancy your chances, obviously?
DARREN CLARKE:テつテつ First round of the first tournament, it's a long way to go but I'm pleased with the start today.テつ I hit an awful lot of really, really good golf shots today and I putted quite nicely as well.テつ All in all, pleased with the start and just hope to carry on the way I am.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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