Clarke had to withdraw from the U.S. Open with a groin injury. He said that he may need about 4 weeks to fully recover and he is looking to return to golf at the Irish Open at Royal Portrush. He had been feeling bad for a while and following The Masters he was uncertain about the U.S. Open but he eventually decided that he needed to rest because he did not want to risk having to miss the Irish Open and the Open Championship this year.
He is spending a lot of time at his home course of Royal Portrush practicing and preparing for the Irish Open. While he is not well enough to compete, his condition is improving and he is closely involved with the tournament this year so it is a high priority to be in good shape so he can have a chance to contend.
Looking ahead to the Open Championship, Clarke said that he has a number of press commitments in advance as well as during Open Championship week but he hopes to be able to travel over to Royal Lytham & St. Annes for a few practice rounds but he is also very focused on preparing for the Irish Open at this moment.
There is a lot of excitement for the Irish Open this year at Royal Portrush as there are a number of Major Champions in the field including McIlroy, McDowell, Harrington, Keegan Bradley, and himself. There is great optimism that this will be the highest attended event outside of the Open Championship on the 2012 European Tour and he is optimistic that tickets for the event this year will sell out.
When asked about Pete Cowen’s comments about a “B” European team winning the Ryder Cup, Clarke said that Cowen may have had a couple of drinks before making those comments and the fact is that the U.S. team is going to be incredibly strong this year and Europe will need its best players playing their best golf in order to have a chance to keep the Ryder Cup this year.