News24

Donald seeks to bounce back

2012-04-12 07:55

South Carolina - World number one Luke Donald will try to put another fruitless major campaign behind him this week as he heads the field for the US PGA Tour's Heritage tournament.

The 36-year-old Englishman, who made history by becoming the first player to top the money lists on both sides of the Atlantic last year, was never in contention at the Masters last week and remains in search of his first major title.

By the time he posted his final-round 68, Donald had already shot himself out of the Masters with rounds of 75, 73 and 75, finishing tied for 32nd.

"I didn't hit the ball particularly well with my irons the first couple of rounds," Donald said. "I didn't hole as many putts as I would have liked, three or four three-putts during the week.

"Some positives, though," he added. "I hit a lot of fairways last week, 80 percent of fairways, which is a good stat for me."

Now Donald will try to get back to the winner's circle at a tournament where he has come close before.

He was third here in 2010 and last year lost to Brandt Snedeker in a playoff - a defeat that postponed Donald's rise to No 1.

"I remember being pretty nervous come Sunday, you know, because I knew what was on the line," Donald recalled. "Obviously if I won I was going to go to No 1. And it didn't quite work out, Brandt played a great round and beat me in the playoff.

"Now that I've been No 1 for a number of weeks now, it's not something I think about too much. My focus this week is just trying to win the tournament."

Donald said the key to that this week would be managing his game around the small greens of the par-71 Harbour Town Golf Links course.

"It's going to be tough to hit a lot of greens this week," he said. "Because of that you need a good short game."

American Matt Kuchar and Ireland's Padraig Harrington, who both featured on the leaderboard at Augusta, are also in this week's field.

Kuchar was tied for third with three holes remaining on Sunday at Augusta, but a bogey at the par-three 16th helped end his chances and he finished tied for third behind Bubba Watson.

"It was just not an easy night's sleep," Kuchar admitted, but said his aim now is to move on and focus on the tournament at hand.

"I want to win this tournament," Kuchar said. "And the more I can make every tournament really important, I think it makes prep for the majors much easier."

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