European Tour

Donald back at happy hunting ground

2016-05-25 20:56
Luke Donald (AFP)

Wentworth - England's Luke Donald is hoping a return to one of his happiest hunting grounds will spark a rise up the world rankings and help him make Europe's Ryder Cup team for the fifth time.

Donald is playing in the European PGA Championship, which starts at Wentworth on Thursday, an event he won in 2011 and 2012.

That win five years' ago got Donald to the top of the rankings for the first time and he re-gained the number one spot with his triumph in 2012.

Donald is currently 76th in the global list - meaning he is not exempt from the major championships - but a good showing this week could put him back in golf's big-time.

And Donald thinks Wentworth is the perfect place to get back on the winner's podium after nearly three barren years.

"It's an event I love playing," he told reporters at Wentworth.

Obviously there are a lot of points up for grabs and this is an event I've had some previous success at and feel comfortable around.

"I would love to have a good week here. If I could even throw in a win, it would go a long way towards getting back that form that is starting to show in the past couple months.

"If you look at the course, the greens are very undulating. They are quite fast this year. The penalty for missing in the bunkers is pretty severe.

"They are very deep bunkers. You have to think your way around this course a little bit. There's some strategy.

"For some of those reasons, this course has been very kind to me."

Donald played his first Ryder Cup in 2004 but missed out at Gleneagles two years' ago when Europe beat the United States under Paul McGinley.

Current captain Darren Clarke could have a handful of rookies in his side - Danny Willett, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Andy Sullivan and Rafa Cabrera-Bello are close to qualifying - and would like to see one or two more experienced players make the cut for the match at Hazeltine.

Donald added: "Obviously it's a goal of mine. I would love to be on that team. A win this week would go a long way to get me right in the mix and I would love to make that team on my own without having to force Darren to make any kind of pick.

"You just keep kind of working on your game and I've started to see some good results, and keep doing that and hopefully that will be good enough."

Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Donald could all be relying on captain's picks to make the team but Donald says there is life in the veterans yet.

"Obviously between myself, Lee and Ian, we've probably played 15 Ryder Cups or more. We've obviously had our time, but I think we still believe that we have some more time in us.

"It's only natural you have some of the younger guys coming up, and through watching some of us and gaining inspiration, they are starting to play really well and have a lot of belief in themselves," he said.

Read more on:    european tour  |  luke donald  |  golf


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