The Senior Open Presented by Rolex

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Porthcawl, Wales, United Kingdom

Royal Porthcawl Golf Club

Darren Clarke

Quick Quotes

Q. How are you feeling about this incredible challenge ahead of you as defending champion?

DARREN CLARKE: I'm looking forward to it. The last time played here at Royal Porthcawl was 1988 in the European Team Championships for Ireland, so I've sort of forgotten how wonderful the golf course is. I got to play is.

I drove down on Saturday after missing the cut up at Hoylake, then played Sunday, played yesterday, played today and the course is just absolutely brilliant. Conditions-wise, holes, everything, it's pristine.

Q. What are the big challenges out there? We see on the 10th green, some of the contours and undulations?

DARREN CLARKE: 10th green was a Pro-Am pin, thankfully, and I just hit it in completely the wrong place.

But no, the green, you've got to -- there's some very strategic bunkers positioned out there. Sometime you've got to play in between bunkers, carry one and not reach the next one.

And then obviously with the contours on the greens, there's a few that where you're trying to hit, and you've got to miss it in the right place if you're going to miss somewhere out here. The course is enough, the wind is going to get up a little stronger than it is now and that's fine.

But there's enough holes that you have opportunities to take advantage of, as well. Yes. There's going to be some tough holes, as there should be I think, but there's lots of opportunities out there,

Q. Yourself, Tom Watson, Bob Charles and Gary Player are one of the illustrious four to be in a group that's won an Open Championship and the senior majors. What's it mean to be in that company?

DARREN CLARKE: Yeah, I've got in that one this past year. That is a lofty group to be in. I think I said last year whenever I did manage to win it, as soon as I turned 50 my goal and my dream was to win the Senior Open, the British Senior Open after winning the main Open, and I was able to change that last year.

That being said, I'd dearly love to defend this week. When you walk into Royal Portrush, there's a display cap there up on the right-hand side and both my replica Claret Jug and replica Senior Claret Jug are sitting side by side.

Q. What would it mean to defend your title this week?

DARREN CLARKE: It would be huge. I actually hit the ball really well last week from Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. Flushed it on the range Friday. Didn't quite happen on the golf course. Maybe I was trying a little too hard, and didn't make any putts.

But I came here and visited a few of the trucks on Saturday morning before I came down here, and stole quite a few putters from them, and hopefully I found one that might actually work this week. It did this morning, anyway, so we shall see. I want to go out there and enjoy it and try to get myself right up there in contention again.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
135331-1-1003 2023-07-25 13:34:00 GMT

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