Clarke sits on Olympic fence

Darren Clarke has opted to “sit on the fence” and leave the likes of Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell, Shane Lowry or Pádraig Harrington to fight it out for Olympic gold in 2016.

The International Golf Federation wants players to declare which country they’ll be available to represent in Rio.

But Clarke has decided to pass, explaining: ”In 2016 I'll be 47 and I don't think I'll be making any team anyway, so it's fine!

"So I will just, respectfully, sit on the fence.

"I'll be 47 and whomever they play for, I hope they'll win! Next!”

Clarke’s got footballing genes

Ben Clarke, Darren Clarke's grandfather.  Pic via

Darren Clarke might have kicked the Olympics to touch but that doesn’t mean he’s not proud of the Irish caps in the family — including football.

The 2011 Open champion won 16 Irish caps as an amateur golfer, which beat his grandad Ben Clarke, who was an amateur soccer international for an all Ireland team in 1934.

Described as a right-back "admired for his sterling qualities and solid worth in the rear division,” grandad Clarke won two caps.

He was on the side that lost 4-0 to England but then beat Scotland 4-1 and played for Portadown, Dungannon, Sheffield United, Exeter City and Carlisle United.

Darren’s father Godfrey was no mean soccer player either, lining out for Glenavon in the Irish League.

G-Mac’s gizmo

Graeme McDowell gets everything out of his practice rounds thanks a gizmo called Game Golf (

The high tech piece of kit has been ratified by the R&A to plot a player's precise round on a course using GPS technology and a 'tap-in' system on the end of each club.

He can then see his practice round on the web after his game and see how he plotted his way around the course and how far he hit each club.

The systems records tons of data including club distances, putts and greens in regulation.

McDowell will end his trial when the tournament proper starts today but dream qualifier John Singleton is expected to use it in the tournament proper.

Amateur golfers can pick one up for around €250.

WiFi woe

The R&A has installed Wifi for the fans at Hoylake.

But just as they were boasting about the system in their annual media conference, the Wifi went down for over an hour for the scribblers in the media tent.

it seems that a workman was digging a hole for a directional sign that said “Media Centre” and accidentally sliced right through some fibre optic cable, leaving the world’s press in limbo.

Senior Ryder Cup? It's happening

The Open is a great gathering of world golf but it’s also a huge rumour mill.

The latest bit of chat doing the rounds is that the PGA of America and the European Tour are hatching plans to stage a Senior Ryder Cup next year.

Set to run over three days, there would be just 10 players on each side instead of 12 and the idea has gone down well.

With the FedEx Cup series offering a free week between Deutsche Bank Championship and BMW championship, the golden oldies could get the chance to shine.

European ace Miguel Angel Jimenez said: “It would be very nice. It’s bueno.”

A formal announcement could come as soon as next month's US PGA at Valhalla.