What they said: Tim Clark

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January 14, 2013

DAVE SENKO:  Tim, thanks for joining us, 63 today, finished with four straight birdies.  You're going to fall short, I guess, but probably at the start of the week if you knew you would have finished with 259 you would have taken it.  Maybe just talk about your day.

TIM CLARK:  Well, I mean, I guess the main story here is Russell and how he played.  Obviously I gave it all I had, and he just played phenomenal.  I was very impressed with his demeanor right from the start.  I could see he was comfortable in that situation, and obviously the guy that wins a tournament on the Web.com TOUR as an amateur can handle big moments.  I was just extremely impressed with him.

Also two very nice guys that I played with.  Scott, too, had a great week, and I just enjoyed their company, and I think the TOUR can be proud that these are the young people that are coming out here now.

Q.  Are you surprised the fact that there's so many young guys, but these two guys, first week out on the PGA TOUR, you know what it was like when you first came out here.  You have to be very surprised by the fact that not only did they get themselves in contention and continue to play well throughout, but what's the biggest part of this?  Where do you see guys like this going now?  Is this a trend do you think?

TIM CLARK:  It's hard to say.  I mean, watching Russell play today, it just seems like there's nothing he can do wrong.  The putts he made, the confidence he played with, the maturity he played with, I mean, just seems like the sky's the limit for him.  Obviously we all have weeks where we are very confident and play well, so obviously he's just getting started, and the rest of the year will fare luck.  But I was obviously very impressed with his game.

Q.  At what point were you absolutely certain that you weren't going to catch him?

TIM CLARK:  The whole way, really.  Like I say, he just never seemed to put a foot wrong, and when he did, he made those par putts.  That's when you know a guy is comfortable, when he's making those sort of eight‑ to ten‑footers for par.  But I still got on the 15th hole and said, well, let's finish with four birdies and see what happens, and sure enough, he birdied the last four, too.  I'm just‑‑ I'm happy for him.  When a guy plays that well and beats you, you just have to be happy for them.

Q.  To talk about you, it seems like it's been a while since you've gotten yourself in this position.  Can you talk about getting in this position and how you felt coming in and how you look at going out?

TIM CLARK:  Yeah, obviously last year was really me just trying to get back to playing.  A couple times I felt like I was in contention, certainly in Connecticut I thought I had a chance to win there, and didn't feel great coming down the stretch.  And then last year at Greensboro, when Sergio played really well on Sunday and beat me.  But that felt pretty good.  So I was excited about coming out this year, and certainly today I myself felt pretty calm.  I wasn't thinking big picture.  I was able to stay in every shot.  That for me has always been my biggest problem.  I get too goal orientated in thinking about that win, and today I didn't really let that happen.  Under normal circumstances that round would have won me the tournament, but I just got outplayed.

Q.  Last time you left this tournament as a runner‑up, your feet were hurting for one thing.  Is your health at 100 percent?

TIM CLARK:  Yeah, you know, I still have to look after my arm, I still have to do physio and stuff, but when I get out to the course it's not on my mind, and it's been a long road.  It was really this tournament where I hurt myself two years ago.

Q.  Did you hurt yourself here or did you just discover it here?

TIM CLARK:  It must have been here.  I'm pretty sure it was somewhere during the last round and I just didn't really know it.  So yes, it's been a long time.  But I always felt like I'd get my game back at some point, and last year it showed when I had some good tournaments.

Q.  I've got to tell you, there was some gossip, for lack of a better word, maybe the last couple months here, that his career may be over.  Did you ever think that yourself?

TIM CLARK:  No, you never want to think that.

Q.  You don't want to, but‑‑

TIM CLARK:  And it's not the first‑‑ believe it or not, my rookie season, it was at a pro‑am here that I blew my wrist out and missed my whole rookie season.  I either come second here or blow myself out for a year.

Yeah, it's strange.  I love coming here, but it's‑‑ yeah, I've hurt myself twice and it put me out for two whole years.  Yeah, quitting is not sort of in my genes.  I will say I'm not the hardest worker possibly, but certainly not a quitter.  I love the game, and I wanted to continue to play, so I was going to do everything I could to get back out here.

Q.  How long did it take before you realized what this was?

TIM CLARK:  The injury, well, I tried to fix it without surgery for a good four, five months.  I tried to rehab and do all that, and in the end it just was evident that there was a significant tear in my elbow and I needed surgery.

Q.  Could you just talk about TV just caught you laughing on the 17th.

TIM CLARK:  Just that I can imagine what people at home watching this tournament saw.  That's kind of what we were feeling out there.  When he made that putt, I'm thinking, wow, this would be pretty special to watching, and well, obviously I was watching it.  But yeah, it's just nice to see.  People come out here to see birdies and see exciting golf.  They don't want to watch us struggling for pars and shooting 10‑over to win tournaments.  This just shows what‑‑ obviously we didn't have wind, and that helped us out a lot.  But yeah, when golf is played like that, it's exciting.

Q.  Can you talk about coming back?  Are you back now in your own mind?

TIM CLARK:  Yeah, today meant a lot.  To be able to stay calm and feel like I had a chance to win here, I do feel like I'm back, yeah.

Q.  Did you know that you would have set the tournament record today if they would have banned rookies?

TIM CLARK:  Yeah, I'm thinking about that.  They should maybe make these guys play somewhere else for a little bit more.  Again, it's great for the TOUR, and the fact that they're such nice guys, you can‑‑ again, you can only be happy for the guy in getting his first win.

Q.  (Inaudible.)

TIM CLARK:  I'm going to play a lot on the West Coast.  My ranking has fallen quite a lot, and I need to get myself back in the majors and that.  I was planning on playing at least five, possibly even all of the West Coast.  I want to play a lot now and see where that can put me.  I'm in the Masters, but I need to get in the U.S. Open and British Open and whatnot.

Q.  Is the Presidents Cup anywhere in your thought process?

TIM CLARK:  It's probably the big goal for sure.  I mean, I want to be on the team.  I've spoken to Nick, and having him as a captain is going to be a great experience for us.  So certainly that is always something I want to make.  But obviously in order to do that, I have to play well and take care of business now. 

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