The Open: Darren Clarke ‘disgusted’ with opening 76
DARREN Clarke said he was “basically disgusted with myself” after starting his Open title defence with a six over par 76.
But the Northern Irishman did manage a wisecrack when asked if his mind had gone back to Sandwich during the round.
“Yeah, coming up the last – how the beep did I manage to win this?” Clarke replied.
Despite only one halfway cut made all season, the 43-year-old felt he had practised well but, after missing a birdie chance on the first, he bogeyed the next two and was already three over when his only birdie of the day came on the tenth. He followed it with a six on the long 11th and had three more bogeys in a row from the 14th.
“I don’t think you could publish my thoughts right now,” he added. “It’s The Open – the biggest and best championship in the world – and the course is so benign, but I couldn’t save or gain any momentum. It was a bad day at the office.”
Also disappointed was Paul Casey, who slipped off the leaderboard with a back nine of 41, but was more dismayed at being denied his chance to emulate a legendary shot by the late Seve Ballesteros.
The Spaniard was dubbed the “car park champion” following his first Open victory at Lytham in 1979, earning the nickname after hitting his drive on the 16th hole in the final round into a temporary car park, but still making a birdie three.
Casey was actually playing the 15th hole, which runs parallel to the 16th, when he sliced his drive into a similar area, but was then told it was now deemed an internal out of bounds. That meant hitting another ball off the tee and led to a double-bogey six, with the Ryder Cup star eventually signing for a two-over 72 after reaching three under after eight holes.
“My only disappointment is I knocked it in Seve’s car park, obviously off the wrong hole, and it’s now out of bounds,” Casey said.
“I would love to have carved one around to the green, but I wasn’t allowed to.”
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Tuesday 18 June 2013
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