Clarke hoping to kick-start career
Published 05/01/2011 | 14:52
Darren Clarke is desperate for his career to get back on the right track in 2011 and is hoping this week's Africa Open will be the place where he turns around his fortunes.
The 42-year-old is part of a strong field assembled in East London, with high-profile South African trio Charl Schwartzel, who is the defending champion, Louis Oosthuizen and Retief Goosen also competing for the 158,500 euro (£132,989) top prize.
The Northern Irishman is hoping that the co-sanctioned European and Sunshine Tour event will bring with it a change of luck and he said: "It's been two years since I won but I am determined to break back and I hope the Africa Open will give me the kind of kick start it did in 2009."
He added: "It's always great to start the season with a solid result and I'm looking forward to getting on the right track in East London."
His reference to 2009 coincides with his second-place finish that year after pushing eventual winner Goosen all the way over the closing holes when the tournament was not yet part of the European Tour.
Clarke added: "I have enjoyed starting my season with the Africa Open the last two years.
"In 2009 I had a pretty good result and last year's Africa Open sparked a return to form for me, so I'm really looking forward to playing in East London.
"I'm hitting the ball as well as ever but just not scoring as well as I should be. My consistency is getting better and I've got to keep working on that."