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Rested Clarke ready to go

Darren Clarke returns to action for the first time in over a month at the Spanish Open in Seville today.

And he says enjoying a family holiday in the Bahamas has him relaxed and raring to go.

“We went with my sister, her husband and their kids and Tyrone and Connor, so it was a real family affair,” he said.

“I had played a lot of golf this year already so taking the three weeks off to relax was great.”

Clarke has just one top ten finish on the European Tour this season, although he has made the cut in all five of the events he played after starting the year with a couple of solid performances on the Sunshine Tour in South Africa.

Ballymoney caddie Gordon Faulkner will be on Clarke’s bag again this week. Faulkner was Rory McIlroy’s caddie for his first steps on Tour before the Holywood man hooked up with JP Fitzgerald — the bagman with whom Clarke enjoyed the bulk of his success. It’s a small world.

Clarke currently lies 35th on the European Ryder Cup points table and could badly do with a good week or two if he is to realise his ambition and force his way onto Colin Montgomerie’s team.

And organisers of the Ryder Cup have reinforced the warning to all golf fans to be vigilant of unscrupulous agents offering forged or invalid entrance tickets for October's match at Celtic Manor in Wales.

The second ballot for public match day tickets is now closed and every applicant is being informed of the result by e-mail.

Richard Hills, the European Ryder Cup director, said: “We need to make it clear to anyone intending to be at the 2010 Ryder Cup that tickets are only available through the official channels. Failure to comply with this warning could lead to fans being seriously overcharged for tickets which are simply not valid and unnecessary disappointment as those unwitting fans are turned away.

“We are receiving an increasing number of enquiries from members of the public who have paid for Ryder Cup tickets and hospitality through unofficial sources.

“In all cases the sums involved have been far in excess of the face value of the tickets.”

Belfast Telegraph