Darren Clarke reckons that he can still produce the performance levels which helped him claim a memorable British Open victory in 2011.

Currently ranked at 394th in the world, the Dungannon man tees off at 0825 on Thursday at Hoylake with two American veterans – Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson and Jim Furyk.

Asked if he can spring a surprise, Clarke, 45, told RTÉ Sport: “Yeah, My game is okay, I’ve just got to knock in a couple of putts and get a little bit of momentum, that’s what’s missing all year.

“I haven’t been able to knock in any putts at all and gain some momentum and then I make a mistake and it’s a bogey or a double.

“My ball-striking has been fine and whenever you get on to links it’s a completely different format and you’ve got to use the ground and I’m comfortable doing that.

“Links turf is what I do, it’s where I practice and play all the time at home in Royal Portrush so it’s great to get back here again.

“Actually with the way that I’m swinging, with the way I’m hitting the ball, I’m quite pleased.”