Published Tuesday, 29 May 2012
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Interview: Darren Clarke
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The prestigious event has almost sold out, with more than 40,000 passes for the opening two days already snapped up and hardly any left for the final two days when crowds are restricted.
Play gets underway at Royal Portrush on 28 June and Clarke is hoping he will be ready in time - and he's hoping for plenty of action to impress the fans.
"At the end of the day, we make our living out of golf - but we are also in the entertainment industry," he said.
I'd probably play in a Zimmer frame if I have to. But hopefully I'll be fine and I will do everything I can do to be fit and ready for playing here.
"If people want to come in and see us making birdies and eagles, that's okay with me.
"At Portrush, you have different angles of the wind coming all the time. People are going to have options. So you'll see lots of birdies and hopefully lots of bogies as well.
"That's the type of excitement you want people to watch."
The Irish Open will be played in Northern Ireland for the first time since 1953 and it could be the best-attended event in Europe this season - outside the Open at Royal Lytham.
It could also be a forerunner to the Open being hosted on the North Coast in the future.
"I'm sure the Royal & Ancient are paying attention," Clarke said.
"Everybody involved in this event will be doing everything possible to make sure it runs as smoothly as possible and I'd like to think the R&A will take another serious look at possibly bringing the Open here."