Breaking news:Clarke pleased with mental game as he hunts Senior PGA win with the video

Breaking news:Clarke pleased with mental game as he hunts Senior PGA win with the video

Darren Clarke hopes he can stay out of his way over the weekend after he put himself in position to challenge at the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship.

Clarke carded an opening 67 to lie on four-under-par at Harbour Shores, three shots behind Richard Green and Richard Bland.

“I played nicely. I had a few more chances. Felt as if I left two or three out there, but overall, 67, pretty good on a tough golf course like this one.

“It was nice and soft-ish this morning. Not quite that soft. But was an opportunity. No breeze, so you could get some of those more challenging flags.”

The 2011 Open champion dropped just one shot and rolled in birdies on the 2nd, 5th, 10th, 14th and 15th and he was pleased to see his patient approach pay off.

“I’m a mental midget. No, I was pretty good today. I was pretty calm and collected and stuff today. It is one of those golf courses that patience is required. I hope I possess as much as I had today for the rest of week and I’ll be okay.”

Clarke insists his game is good enough to win a senior major if he can limit the mistakes and keep his cool.

“I’ve been playing nicely, but just I don’t — making a bad swing on the wrong hole at the wrong — doing one of those sort of things. Not intentionally or anything.

Just if I sort of made a mistake I’ve compounded it on the wrong hole at the wrong time. So I’ve been playing really pretty solid all year but just not scoring. Game has been really close so maybe I won’t hit the stupid shot at the wrong time on one of these holes this week.”

Pádraig Harrington looks to be struggling to shake off the neck injury which plagued his PGA Championship campaign at Valhalla last week.

Last year’s runner-up is ten shots off the pace on three-over-par.

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