His performances in the Open Championship have yet to match his results in the other three majors, but Tim Clark knows he has the kind of game that can help him this year at Muirfield.
He’s made the cut just twice in eight outings in the Open, and his best finish was a share of 23rd in the 2005 Open at St Andrews in which Tiger Woods pulled away from Colin Montgomerie for a five-stroke victory.
That’s hardly flattering for a man who has won the ‘fifth major’ – the 2010 Players Championship – and come second in the Masters in 2006, third in the US Open in 2005 and third in the PGA Championship in 2003.
But he has been quietly proficient in tournament play in 2013, with three top-10s on the US PGA Tour, including a second-place finish in the season-opening Sony Open in Hawaii in January.
And he is aware of how tough it will be in the Open: “It’s really difficult to go low at Muirfield,” he said ahead of his opening round on Thursday. “Everything about your game has to be on.”
And while he might not be the longest player off the tee – and that’s not necessarily a bad thing at Muirfield – he’s very good at getting is ball onto the fairways where he sets himself up. He ranks fourth on the PGA Tour in driving accuracy.
It’s at that point that Clark can get himself into a better position this week: “It takes a lot of imagination around here,” he said. “There will be a lot of run-up shots, and the guy with the complete game is going to be the guy who can win.
“Hopefully, it’s there for me on Tuesday,” he added.