Clarke laments putting woes
Defending champion bows out with seven over par total
Last Updated: July 20, 2012 9:43pm
Darren Clarke: Blamed a cold putter for his missed cut
A devastated Darren Clarke blamed a "cold putter" for his failure to make the cut in his defence of the Open Championship title at Royal Lytham.
Last year's shock winner at Sandwich faced a huge task to make it to the weekend following an opening 76, prompting him to admit he was "disgusted" with himself.
The popular 43-year-old gave himself plenty of chances to repair the damage, but a one-over 71 left him at seven over for the tournament - four outside the cut mark.
"I'm disappointed, I would have liked to come here and put up a good score in defence," he said after three-putting the final green.
"Tee to green was okay, I just had a very cold putter again. It's not been very good for a long time. The damage was done on Thursday but I gave myself plenty of chances to make it up."
Clarke was given a huge ovation as he made his way up the 18th fairway, and he added: "The roar coming down the last was fantastic.
"The crowd were wonderful to me last year and have been to me all year round. It is a pity I didn't give them anything to shout about.
"It has been an honour and privilege to be Open champion. It is a huge honour to have my name on the Claret Jug and they will be memories that I cherish forever."