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Darren Clarke's schedule governed by wife's illness

Darren Clarke, whose wife Heather is battling cancer, says his tournament schedule this year will be dictated by her progress.

The Ulsterman, who has helped Europe win three Ryder Cups and took a two-month break to look after his wife at the end of last year, told a news conference on Wednesday that so far the signs were good for her.

"My schedule will depend on how my wife's progress develops," he said.

"She had her fourth bout of chemotherapy on Tuesday and the doctor said beforehand that her results had already been dramatic.

"Everything is currently working in the right direction. She is coping unbelievably well."

Clarke, who divides his tournaments between the European Tour and the PGA Tour in the U.S., added: "She is keen for me to be playing again and getting normality back. I think she's fed up with me hanging around the house."

Clarke was at the Forest of Arden course to launch a new sponsorship of the British Masters by Dunlop, the sports goods company that last backed the event in 1982 having supported it since 1946.

The prize money will be a record 1.7 million pounds ($3.21 million) -- 100,000 pounds more than last year -- for the May 12-15 event on the central England course. The winner will pocket 283,333 pounds.

 

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