Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Clarke disgusted by opening round

Darren Clarke was unimpressed with his opening round at Royal Lytham

Darren Clarke revealed he was "basically disgusted with myself" after starting his Open title defence with a six-over-par 76 at Royal Lytham.

But the Northern Irishman did managed 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 10th.

He followed it with a six on the long 10th 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.

"The crowds were great and showed their support, but unfortunately I couldn't reciprocate."

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