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.