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Clarke disgusted by opening round

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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