Darren Clarke hopes for easier schedule after rejoining PGA Tour

Last Updated: 06/11/13 8:30pm

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Darren Clarke: First season with a PGA Tour card since 2006

Darren Clarke: First season with a PGA Tour card since 2006

Sky Bet

Darren Clarke is looking forward to "starting over" as he prepares for his first full season on the PGA Tour for seven years.

The 2011 Open champion has not competed full-time in the United States since 2006 - the year his wife Heather died of cancer.

But the 45-year-old has admitted the increased travel schedule on the European Tour has taken its toll, and he has decided to rejoin the PGA Tour to enjoy a more relaxed itinerary.

"I've almost had enough of the long hauls all over Asia and all that sort of stuff," said Clarke, who has not won an event since lifting the Claret Jug at Royal St George's and has slumped to 283rd in the world rankings.

"Not that it's bad, but coming over here is certainly a lot easier for me from a scheduling point of view.

"Europe is my home turf but it's a great opportunity to come over here and play.


"I just want to go out and enjoy myself. I've travelled all over the world for a long time and I've had a great time doing it. It's almost like starting over."

"Europe is my home turf, but it's a great opportunity to come over here and play."
Darren Clarke

The popular Ulsterman, who is entitled to PGA Tour membership by virtue of his Open Championship win, will open his season at this week's McGladrey Classic at Sea Island Golf Club in Georgia.

Clarke also plans to retain his membership of the European Tour, although he admits it may be difficult to play the required number of events.

"It will be difficult (playing both tours) but it is something I will try to do," he told PGATour.com.

"I will see how I get on with it. But my first commitment is to the PGA Tour and I have to get my tournaments in since I became a member again."

Clarke will also play next week's OHL Classic in Mexico before returning for the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and Northern Trust Open in February and the entire Florida swing in March.

See how Clarke fares when coverage of the McGladrey Classic in Georgia starts at 6pm on Sky Sports 4

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