Darren Clarke beaming at being back in Oz playing golf … and that 56 year olds are still winning

Darren Clarke 595 ao

AS a golfer with just a couple of years to go till the big 50 mark former British Open winner Darren Clarke was delighted to see 56 year old Peter Senior winning the Australian Masters on the weekend.

Clarke said at his Sydney media conference ahead of the Australian Open that he saw the final round of the Masters on TV and thought it “awesome” that golf continues to produce such results.

Clarke was looking very fit and tanned and is quick to break into a beaming smile.

“Pete Senior is one of the nicest guys in the game,” The Northern Irishman said. “He works and he works and he’s been a great player for a long time. I think it’s  wonderful  because it  still  shows  that guys  like  Pete,  seasoned  veterans [can still win].

“The modern  game is what we  perceive is kids that hit it so far but then you  have  people  like  Pete  winning  last week which shows there’s still a bit in this game  which is  experience and guile and thinking and knowing what to do. But  again  I  think  that’s  why our sport is  different to  all  other  ones.  You have a 56 year  old  guy  winning  another big tournament in the world of golf. There’s very few other sports where that actually happens,  where  you  can  have  kids as young as16, 17 competing  against  guys of 56 and  the 56  year  old  comes out on top. It doesn’t really happen in that many other ones. So personally I think it’s great and I’ve known  Pete  for  a  long  time,  so  I  was delighted for him; it was brilliant.”

Clarke has a big year ahead of him in 2016 as Ryder Cup captain and fielded many questions on that issue in his media appearance, but he’s also mindful to concentrate on his own game.

“I’ve been hitting the  ball  not  too bad  for  quite  some time, just been scoring terribly,” Clarke grinned.

“I [worked with a coach] on my putting style there about  a month ago,  [still] trying to get  used to  that  a little  bit, and  down  here in  Australia, as well as  having   some of   the   best   golf courses in the world, you’re renowned for having  some of  the  purest  greens in  the world. So if you miss putts here in Australia, it’s down to yourself, it’s not to do with the greens. We’re  always  fond of  blaming  the greens if we  can, but  they’re  pure  here. Hopefully that will be  a  little bit better. I played an  event in  Dubai  a  couple of weeks ago, a  MENA  Tour  [Middle East & North Africa] event and  I finished  second  there,  so  I  played  a  little bit better again, so hopefully carry on with that  and  have  another good  week  here again.

Clarke was delighted to be back in Australia for the Open.

“You know, the Australian  Open is one of  the oldest tournaments in  the  world and to have  the opportunity to come back down here again is  fantastic. I’ve been down  here  quite  a few times throughout my career, I’ve been on Tour a long time now, so any time I’ve been down here I’ve enjoyed it.”

Clarke was also happy it was “about 80 degrees  warmer  here  than it is at home right now.”

The Northern Irishman tees off Thursday morning at 7.15 along with Aussies Greg Chalmers and Steven Bowditch.

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