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June 16, 2005

Luke Donald


Q. Does the hole that Tiger was talking about, does that kind of sum up Pinehurst?

LUKE DONALD: What was he saying?

Q. He was talking about the shot you hit on 16?

LUKE DONALD: Right. Yeah, U.S. Open courses are like that, especially here on these greens, how much they're sloped away from the middle of the green. You can hit what you think is a decent chip and it just goes a few feet too far, and suddenly it's off the other side. And that's the nature of this course. You have to kind of really think ahead a few shots. And it's a good strategy course.

Q. With your round with Tiger (inaudible.)

LUKE DONALD: No, not really. It was fun out there. It was pretty relaxed, actually. All three of us got along pretty well. Very easy going round. Mostly it was I don't think you really notice the crowds too much, I mean I think most of the decent groups out here are going to get good crowds, anyway.

Q. Do you notice things about other people's games when you play?

LUKE DONALD: You know, I try not to really look at my playing partners. It's hard to watch Tiger hit drivers that go 350. I'm just trying to concentrate on my own game. Obviously I see where he's hitting his second shot from and I see Chris making putts, but I try not to pay too much attention.

Q. (Inaudible.)

LUKE DONALD: Well, they did cut the rough down a little bit last night. And even the couple of times I was in the rough I was able to advance it up close to the green where I thought I could get up and down, and a couple of my bogeys, one was a par 3 and another was from the middle of the fairway. So to be honest, I think the rough was a lot more playable today. And obviously it helps if you're going in Tiger was getting it way down there. But I still think that you could make a score.

Q. Go through your birdies and bogeys?

LUKE DONALD: Birdied 1, three wood and a wedge, and hold about a 20 foot putt.

Birdied No. 4, driver and 2 iron and 2 putt for birdie.

Driver and 9 iron on No. 8, putt from about 6 feet. And then my other birdie was 13, driver and a sand wedge to about three feet.

Q. And the bogeys?

LUKE DONALD: I bogeyed what did I bogey? I bogeyed the 5th hole, driver and 6 iron left of the green, took three to get down.

I bogeyed 16, drive and a 5 iron short of the green, and chipped it over the other side, and 2 putted from the fringe for bogey. And then I hit a 7 iron just over the green on 17 and again putted it over the green, and made a four that way.

Q. You said a couple of times you putted off the green or went past, unique situations to a course like this?

LUKE DONALD: Yeah, you know, I felt like I was a little heavy handed with both those shots, obviously. There's a little bit of a fine line on this course, and you make a little bit of a mistake, and it costs you a bogey out here. And they were clumsy bogeys and that's why I thought I could have snuck a 67, 66 today, it felt like I was playing that well.

But the hardest thing is deciding what kind of shot you want to hit from just off the edge, you know. There's so many different variations, people might think a 3 wood might be the best option, maybe the putter is the best option or a sand wedge, and that's what makes it so interesting around the greens when you do miss greens, there's so many different options to get up and down.

Q. (Inaudible.) Were you thinking, gee, this is different, what do I do here?

LUKE DONALD: Well, I'd seen it in the practice rounds, that's why I practiced those kind of shots. But 16 and 17 were the main cases for me today.

Q. What kind of shape were those edges in, the collars?

LUKE DONALD: They're a little rough in spots, but it's not really making too much of a difference. I think sometimes determines what kind of shot you want to play. If you're in a bit of bad patch and a bad lie, you might want to take the putter, it's the safest option.

Q. (So much emphasis on birdies, were (inaudible.)

LUKE DONALD: I think you really have to see where the pins are. Some pins you can go at a little bit today, like 13 I had a nice yardage into the wind with a sand wedge, and I could go straight at the pin, and almost hold it in 2. But a little bit in between clubs and the opinion is very close to an edge, you really just plan for the middle of the green. If you make a long putt it's a bonus, but you are shooting for pars a lot of the time out there.

Q. Tiger said he was very, very happy to be out with the conditions the way they are, especially with the winds kicking up, walking off with even par. Could you reflect on the round a little bit?

LUKE DONALD: Well, I was happy with today. I felt as I said, I felt very much in control. I felt like I knew where the ball was going, not much and I also felt the course was a little bit more playable, even if you did hit it in the rough you had a chance to get it up by the green. And the greens were soft. A few times they even surprised me the way the ball spun back a little bit. You don't see that too much at U.S. Open. Obviously that's safeguarding a little bit from getting the greens too firm, but that might change in the next few days. But overall I'm very pleased with my round. Obviously anything in the '60s is a great round.

Q. What was the experience like to be out there with Tiger?

LUKE DONALD: Yeah, it was fun. This is the kind of situations I want to get into. And this is why I practice hard and I'm trying to play with these great players and see how I do. And so far I've done pretty well.

End of FastScripts.

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