Clarke still can't find what he's looking for

 

Golf: Darren Clarke said he was “basically disgusted with myself” after starting his British Open title defence with a six over par 76 at Royal Lytham. But the Ulsterman did managed a wisecrack when asked if his mind had gone back to Sandwich during the round.

“Yeah, coming up the last — how the beep did I manage to win this?” Clarke replied.

Despite only one halfway cut made all season, the 43-year-old felt he had practised well, but after missing a birdie chance on the first he bogeyed the next two and was already three over when his only birdie of the day came on the 10th.

He followed it with a six on the long 10th and had three more bogeys in a row from the 14th. “I don’t think you could publish my thoughts right now,” he added.

“It’s The Open — the biggest and best championship in the world — and the course is so benign, but I couldn’t save or gain any momentum. It was a bad day at the office. The crowds were great and showed their support, but unfortunately I couldn’t reciprocate.”