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Darren Clarke Preview Interview  21.07.04

Darren Clarke 

Thoughts on the course?

The course is fantastic, as I remember it. A few new tees which will make a little bit more tricky but I think they have all been improvements.

Not quite sure about the 18th, the bunkers on the left. Used to be a great finishing hole but I think now a lot of guys are going to hit irons off the tees to avoid those but overall the course is in fantastic shape and the greens are great and Iím looking forward to getting going. I think there will be opportunities for some very low scores. I believe the wind is not going to blow that hard but there are a lot of chances out there. The key to success this week is to play the par threes well. They are very tough and if you miss them the wrong side it is bogey or double so look towards the winner as the guy who plays the par threes well.  Iím happy with my own game. I have been working away, doing what I have been doing. I holed a nice few putts on Sunday at Troon and hope to continue that this week.

You won here in the East of Ireland?
Won the East in 1989 and the Closed in 1990, I think. Seven under.

That will be beaten?Par 73 then and 72 now so hopefully it would be beaten this week.

What is your schedule?

Playing this week and then two weeks off before playing Whistling Straits. Then play NEC and then BMW and then after that I am not sure. Not playing International this year.


Padraig says local knowledge is not necessarily an advantage Ė what do you think?

Well I am going into this week with JP Fitzgerald on the bag who is a member here, we have grown up playing a lot of golf here together and in other tournaments and I much prefer playing this course knowing where to hit it and where not to hit it rather than coming here for the first time. Thatís me, Padraig is different.


He says while you know where to hit it, you also worry about where not to hit it?

Thatís true but I much prefer to know both sides as opposed to not knowing any.


There is a hint that you and Pete might not be working together?

Where did you hear that? Iíll let you know. At the moment I am not quite sure. This is just one week with JP. We organised it earlier in the year.


Was there any friction between you and Pete in view ofwhat happened on the 18th at Troon?

Absolutely not. None whatsoever.


But you are reviewing the situation?



Do you think the Ryder Cup captain should have been present last week?

He wasnít playing, was he? What does he need to be there for if he is not playing? Bernhard Langer has played around the world and done lots of things around the world and if he is not there for one week, why should he be if he is not playing. It is a long way to come from America for one week to spectate when I am sure he would have much rather been playing.


Looking at Ian Poulterís trousers last week, do you think your trousers got bad press at the Masters?

Iím not wearing Ian Poulterís trousers this week thatís for sure. They were a little louder than mine. But I think that is fantastic for the Open. He does things a little different but he is a very talented good young player coming through who is on the Ryder Cup team at the moment. A lot of people have said the way golfers dress is quite sensible and it is good to see someone bring something a little different into the game.


Any Shamrocks for you?

I donít think I have lost enough weight to have white trousers with shamrocks on them.



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