Clarke pushes for breast cancer awareness in Dubai

Wed 17 Dec 2014

Clarke pushes for breast cancer awareness in Dubai

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Dubai, December 17: Major champion Darren Clarke is teeing up at the inaugural Dubai Open with the intention of making a difference in the lives of women in the UAE.
The Ulsterman will be wearing a breast cancer awareness badge on his collar this week at the Els Club Dubai in hope of raising more awareness amongst the women in the UAE where 28% of female deaths have been due to breast cancer.
With his wife Heather succumbing to breast cancer in 2006, Clarke is keen to play a role while in Dubai for the final tournament of the 2014 Asian Tour season.
“Well, first and foremost, I'm here because of David Spencer and Mohamed Juma Bumaim (strategic adviser and vice chairman of golf in DUBAi respectively). They have been friends of mine and they kindly asked me to come along and play,” said Clarke today.
“Golf in DUBAi do such a wonderful job with all the tournaments they manage, the Ladies, the Dubai Desert Classic, this one and the MENA Tour. And for different reasons as well; our foundation is actively involved in breast cancer and I'm trying to promote that.
“Spenny gave me an interesting stat last night. He said 28% of female deaths in the UAE die of breast cancer, and that's an amazing stat and that will be reduced by 50 per cent with early detection. I've got my breast cancer awareness badge, it's over there (collar). It's something close to my heart for obvious reasons and it's because of efforts that Spenny and Mohamed do that make that difference. I'm here because I want to support them because they have supported me throughout my career.”
The 2011 British Open winner is eager to put on a strong showing at the immaculate Els Club Dubai against the stars from the Asian Tour despite a lack of success in recent times. The 46-year-old Ulsterman said he still had the desire to compete at the highest level, while also enjoying playing the mentor role to young golfers such as stablemate Tommy Fleetwood of England.
“In terms of what I want to do, I want to play. I love the game and I hate the game. Of late, I've hated the game a bit more than I love the game but that's the game of golf. That's professional sport. It's not always pitching up in beautiful venues such as here and going out and having a good time on the golf course.  It's our job and sometimes we love it and sometimes we don't,” he said.
“You play well and it's brilliant; if you struggle a little bit, it's not so much fun but you have to keep battling on for the good times. That's why I'm still doing it because I love the game and I always will love the game.
“It's great to have an opportunity where I can maybe offer the likes of Tommy a bit of advice, only because I've been through it all, seen every coach in the world, even every mental coach, I think I've destroyed 90 per cent of them!
“I've seen everybody there is to see at this stage of my career, and it's nice to give back, especially somebody of Tommy's talent coming through who is, as I say, going to be another superstar, so to be able to help him is great.  So if he listens, he'll be fine!” laughed Clarke.
Tipped as a potential European captain for the next Ryder Cup in the United States, Clarke said that getting the nod for the job would be another highlight of his career which has yielded over 20 international victories.
“If you're asked, it's a huge honour. If I am lucky enough to be asked, then that would be great.  But in the meantime, you know, I'm just going to keep on playing and see what happens. As I've said all along, I'd love to do it but it's not something you ask.”
The Dubai Open is promoted and organised by golf in DUBAi.
The Els Club Dubai is situated within the sprawling Dubai Sports City where the par-72 course combines links style golf with traditional 'classical era' design. Opened for play in 2008, the course stretches 7,538 yards and was named as ‘Best New International Course’ by prestigious US magazine, Links, and “Best New Facility of the Year” by Troon Golf.
About the Asian Tour
As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Sponsor), Oakley (Official Eyewear and Footwear Sponsor), PRG (Official Accessories Supplier), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Statistics Partner), Srixon (Official Ball), Titleist (Official Web Partner) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf.