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Darren Clarke unsure of 2006 plans

Darren Clarke says he can only make tentative golfing plans while his wife Heather continues her battle with cancer.

World number 18 Clarke is due to launch his season this month with back-to-back appearances at the Qatar Masters and the Dubai Desert Classic.

The Northern Irishman knows, however, that he may have to revise his schedule at any time.

"Heather's condition is day by day. She is undergoing intensive chemotherapy," Clarke told Reuters at the launch of the British Masters at the Belfry on Thursday.

"At the moment she's doing OK but I don't want to get ahead of myself and make plans.

"I'm just looking forward to playing the next five or six weeks while she's doing well.

"I want to try to get myself swinging the club the way I want to in the early part of the season but I don't want to get my hopes built too far up and then have to pull out the week before events."

Clarke believes the prospects for European golf are bright with the Ryder Cup on the horizon this year.

"We are looking good," said Clarke. "We have got Luke Donald coming on and it was good to see Paul Casey back in the winners' enclosure again at the end of last year.

"Nick Dougherty had a great year last year and David Howell is improving great.

"In terms of the Ryder Cup, we've also got Henrik Stenson playing fantastic week in, week out.

"We've got a lot of really good young players on the European Tour." Clarke also spoke highly of 39-year-old Irishman Paul McGinley.

"Paul played very well last year," said Clarke. "His win at the Volvo Masters was long overdue.

"He is feeling confident and is looking forward to getting started again this season." Europe take on the U.S. at the K Club in Ireland in September.



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