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Last Updated: Saturday, 22 July 2006, 14:38 GMT 15:38 UK
Clarke has no plans for Ryder Cup
Darren Clarke
Darren Clarke has played in the last four Ryder Cups
Darren Clarke says he is putting the Ryder Cup to the back of his mind while he takes time out to support his wife Heather in her battle against cancer.

The Northern Irishman missed the cut at the Open after rounds of 69 and 82 and will now take a break from golf.

He may not qualify for September's Ryder Cup in Ireland and, if he wanted to play, would need a wildcard.

"I know people will be wondering about the Ryder Cup, but such things are not in my thoughts at the moment," he said.

"Now is the time to concentrate on matters much more important than golf."

The 37-year-old said on his personal website that he made up his mind several weeks ago to take an indefinite break.

"I made up my mind several weeks ago to play until after my favourite tournament, The Open, and then that would be it for a while," Clarke said.

"If it had been anything other than The Open coming up, I probably wouldn't have continued, but I have managed to get this far and now I'll be taking a break for the foreseeable future.

"My game has been good, but my mind has obviously been elsewhere. Now the priority is to be with my wife and family and support them in every way that I can."


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