DARREN CLARKE PREVIEW INTERVIEW FOR SMURFIT EUROPEAN OPEN - 30.06.04
|Q. Pretty tough conditions out there today?|
A. Yes, I'm glad I'm finished. The course is going to definitely be the
winner this week. The rough is thick, the wind is going to be the same
strength as this all week if not stronger so it will be tough to get it
close to the hole with the severity of the slope as well. It is very tough
to make birdies and very easy to make bogeys.
Q. You won on the other course, it would be a lovely double?
A. Yes it would be good to win again, but I'll have to try and get myself
back up there again first. The next four days are going to be very demanding
on that golf course.
Q. Can you compare the courses?
A. They are both very different. I think if the wind is this strong I'd
prefer to be playing the other one, only because we all know the other
course, we don't know this one so well yet.
Q. You hadn't played before today?
A. No I played on Monday.
Q. Will you use the belly putter?
A. I think so, I don't know what I'm going with it yet. I'll see how I feel
Q. How are you getting on with it?
A. Some are going at the hole, some are going in and some are not, so we'll
Q. Did you make the decision or did someone suggest it?
A. No I just decided I wanted to have a go with something totally different.
It wasn't because I was yipping with the other putter or anything, I just
wanted a complete change and that is why I have it in my bag so far this
week. A couple of years ago I used it for a couple of weeks but I put it
back in the garage.
Q. How did that work out?
A. Well obviously not very well if I only used it for two weeks!
Q. You must have reservations if you haven't decided to use it yet?
A. None whatsoever. I might use it I might not, I have no reservations. I
will decide tomorrow morning and I will see how I feel then.
Q. How many putters will you take to practice tomorrow before you go out?
A. Just a couple.
Q. Otherwise how is your game?
A. Okay, not bad, but tough to judge out there because it is hard to play
the ball against the wind and keep it on fairways and greens when the wind
is strong as that it is difficult to judge.
Q. What do you think the winning score will be if the wind stays like this?
A. I would happily take level par and sit in the clubhouse and watch the
rest of them.
Q. 25/1 for level par or worse to win?
A. I think that is a great bet
Q. Are you playing next week?
A. Yes, in the Barclays Scottish Open!
Q. Would you normally play the week before a Major then?
A. I'm not quite sure. I would have probably spent last week playing a few
more links courses.
Q. Memories of Troon?
A. I think more positive than anything else. I haven't been there since the
last Open and I made three at the last to finish tied second, so that is my
memory of Troon.
Q. What holes here are tough?
A. One, two, three, four, five, six, all of them. There are no easy holes,
even the short ones because of the shapes of the greens, if you are coming
in downwind it is very hard to stop the ball and if the flags are in corners
it is impossible to get at them.
Q. Where would Troon rank with you?
A. With me, right up there because it is my best finish in an Open. But I
liked it from the first moment I saw it. It would have to be one of my
favourites on the Open rota.
Q. Are you able to disregard your misadventure shall we say of earlier in
the final round?
A. It is irrelevant. It is seven years ago now. I have hit many other shots
like that since, it was not a one off. But I am just looking forward to
getting back there.
Q. What did you hit on that shot?
A. Probably what Billy told me to hit. You are asking the wrong person
Q. Is the 18th a two shotter today?
A. It is on the limit for a two shotter, it depends how greedy or brave you
are with your tee shot. I pushed mine a little bit and had 228 to the front
and I am not going to go at the green if I have to hit a three wood into
that last green so it would have been right on the limit for me today. It
will be exciting come the end of the week.
Q. What do you think of the 16th?
A. It's long.
Q. A lot of people say that it is their favourite hole on the course?
A. It is long.
Q. Not your favourite hole then?
A. It's long.
Q. What did you do there today?
A. I hit a perfect drive down the middle and one of my amateur partners hit
it 40 yards from the green so we played his ball.
Q. Do you have a favourite hole on the course?
A. Not yet.