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Clarke ready for US Open
Article posted: 10 June 2013

I’m happy with the way I’m swinging the club - I’ve just got to get back into scoring mode again

- Darren Clarke

Darren Clarke says the US Open is "always special" as he prepares to play in the tournament for the first time since 2009 this week.

Clarke, who missed the second major championship of the season last year because of a groin injury, believes the course at Merion GC will be a demanding test.

"It’s always a special tournament," said the Northern Irishman. "This year the course is going to be a little bit different. It’s a little bit shorter but I’m sure they’re going to make up for it in different ways. The rough is going to be thicker than ever and they’re going to try and protect the golf course a little bit.

"I’ve played the course a few times before. They say it’s short but the last few holes are pretty long, so it’ll be a good week. They don’t give you any margin for error at all. With the rough as thick as it is, and around the greens it’s the same sort of thing. The test is always very, very stern."

Clarke, who was forced to miss the Masters at Augusta after injuring his hamstring, was asked about the state of his game heading into the event.

"I’m looking forward to it," said the 2011 Open champion. "It’s where I want to play and what I want to do. I’ve just got to keep hitting the ball the way that I am and hopefully I’ll have a really good week.

"Because I missed a lot of golf at the start of the season, I’m not competitively sharp. But I’m working hard and will keep doing what I’m doing. I played not bad at Wentworth a couple of weeks ago and I’m happy with the way I’m swinging the club. I’ve just got to get back into scoring mode again."

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