Clarke staying positive
Open champion Darren Clarke says he is still full of confidence going into the defence of his crown despite his poor form this year.
The Northern Irishman battled through the elements 12 months ago at Royal St George's to lift the Claret Jug and write his name in the history books.
However, the 43-year-old hasn't won since and has looked remarkably out of touch whenever he's played.
Despite his poor form, Clarke is refusing to get down on himself ahead of his defence at Royal Lytham and St Anne's next week and believes his hard work will eventually pay off.
"You'd think at the age of 43 and having played in Ryder Cups and won World Golf Championships, I'd be more understanding," he said. "I wanted to play like an Open champion and tried too hard to do it instead of just playing.
"I'd be down here (at Royal Portrush) for nine or 10 hours a day in the pouring rain and wind thinking to myself 'I've got to play better'. It hasn't quite worked."
"You don't get anywhere without practice, though, and at some stage it will pay off. I don't know when, but it will," he added.