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Published: 23:11 | 15/7/16

Clarke enjoying Open distraction

Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke says he is enjoying his return to links golf following his second-round 72 at the Open Championship on Friday.

The 2011 Open champion, whose title at Sandwich gives him an exemption to play at the tournament until 2029, is one over for the tournament after the first two days and makes the cut for the weekend at Royal Troon.

However, the 47-year-old insists his focus is on the Ryder Cup in Hazeltine in September, with this week's links golf in Scotland an enjoyable distraction.

"My priority is the Ryder Cup, not my own golf, but this is the biggest and best tournament in the world and I am proud and privileged to be part of the field." the Ulsterman said.

"I love links golf. As much as I am not playing or practising as much as I would like to, when I get back onto links I can manage my way around because I have grown up doing it and will be doing it for a long time. I want to play well this weekend.

"But it will be interesting to see how some of the Ryder Cup contenders get on. The Ryder Cup is still more important right now."

Phil Mickelson of the United States leads the Open Championship at the halfway stage, on 10 under following Friday's two-under-par 69.

Day 3 of the Open Championship is live on eir Sport

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