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October 9, 2004

Luke Donald


LUKE DONALD: Very pleased with my round today. This is the harder of the three courses. It is tougher off the tee and you have to think about every shot. At St Andrews you can take one side of play out but here you can't. You really have to thread it through bunkers. I got in a couple of bunkers, one on the sixth hole but made par and otherwise a very good round. I was very happy with the way I played.

It looked as if it would be nice this morning and was quite warm for the first couple of holes. Then the sun went and it was cold. I probably wasn't wearing enough layers but I don't like to wear too much.

Q. How do you cope with the speed of play when it is as slow as this?

LUKE DONALD: It was really good the speed until the 12th and then from the 12th onwards it proably took about three hours. It is just a case of keeping warm and it is easier in thisformat as you have pro-am partners to talk to and it is very relaxed.

Q. Are you surprised at how well you are playing?

LUKE DONALD: Somewhat surprised I am playing so well around links courses. It has been good conditions and that helps. You don't have to be quite as creative and don't have to hit under the wind quite as much. In the past I have not done that well in Opens which is the main links golf I have played. I am not surprised I ma playing this well as I have been playing great the last two months.

Q. You said you had lost your links touch through concentrating to play in America?

LUKE DONALD: For seven years I changed my swing where I tried to hit the ball further, higher, softer shots and that is obviously not the way to play links golf, but I still remember how to play links golf. Still remember how to play the bump and run and the shot under the wind because it still gets windy now and again in America and I played a lot of links golf growing up.

Q. Tomorrow?

LUKE DONALD: Just go out and try and play good golf like I have. There are a lot of big names behind me but we will see what happens. I am excited to go out there.

Q. Couple of your Ryder Cup teammates?

LUKE DONALD: I think the Ryder Cup was a huge boost of confidence. You can see it with David Howell, finishing third last week. He said he wasn't intimidated by playing with Els and Bjorn in the last round because of the Ryder Cup experience. It is great to see the guys playing well.

Q. How much difference is the pressure at the Ryder Cup?

LUKE DONALD: It is a lot of pressure. It is completely different. Huge crowds and the team atmosphere is very different. You are playing for your team and that adds pressure, but it also a lot of fun. To play in the Ryder Cup has always been my dream and it has lived up to everything I thought it would be.

Q. Talking of dreams, would it have been beyond your wildest dreams that you could win three events when you came over to complete your 11 events, to win three out of seven?

LUKE DONALD: It is beyond the dreams. I didn't expect that. I had a good year in America prior to coming over here but coming here has really opened some doors for me. I have felt very comfortable playing in Europe and played well because of it. It has got me up to 30th in the world right now.

Q. Will you play here again next year?

LUKE DONALD: I will play my 11 events. A lot in the US but also 11 here.

Q. Pressure tomorrow?

LUKE DONALD: Completely different. It is a stroke-play event. It will be good. It will be nice playing the Old Course, great crowds and a lot of the top guys playing up there. Still relaxed as I will be playing with my amateur partner. Try and have some fun out there. That is what I have done for the last three days.

Q. A thank-you for Bernhard for persuading you to play over here?

LUKE DONALD: I suppose I am to Bernhard and Ken Schofield. A few of the rules were slightly changed and that really persuaded me to rejoin the European Tour. If I hadn't I wouldn't be where I am right now.

Q. Did the two of them come to you?

LUKE DONALD: Yes, both. I said when I rejoined it might be a blessing in disguise and it has turned out that way.

End of FastScripts.

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