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October 4, 2009

Luke Donald


Q. Nine birdies, best round of the day at this course, what was the key to that?
LUKE DONALD: Well, obviously good conditions, I think if you kept it in play -- I gave myself a lot of chances from 10, 15 foot and just really rolled the ball nicely today. Made pretty much everything I looked at. Just one spoilt by a bad swing on 15, hit it in the water but still made a pretty good four there.

Q. Started the day four behind, did you have a particular goal or target in mind?
LUKE DONALD: Not really. This whole week I've been going out ask having fun with my partner, Jamie. It's a nice, relaxed atmosphere and you go out and try your best.
I knew that the wind was pretty benign for here, and there's definitely some scoring opportunities out on this course, so I thought if I could make five or six birdies that, would be good, but obviously went a few better.

Q. How much competitive side has Jamie showed this week?
LUKE DONALD: He played great at St. Andrews, shot 74 on his own ball. He's played really nicely. I think the few times he's been on camera, maybe it's shown he's hit a few bad ones but he's had a great week and he's enjoyed himself thoroughly.

Q. How do you feel about your season on the PGA TOUR?
LUKE DONALD: Season has been consistent. I definitely haven't lit any fires. I've had a steady year, made THE TOUR Championship, but didn't give myself enough chances to win. So this is fun. It's nice to go in tomorrow, I think I'm probably one ahead of Rory, and give myself a chance. That's what you try and do every week, play Sunday, and have a chance to win. So it will be nice to be back in that atmosphere.

Q. How will you approach tomorrow, because there's some classy names chasing you.
LUKE DONALD: Yeah, great names and pretty packed leaderboard, too. I'm obviously going to have to not play safe at all -- if the weather is anything like that, I'm going to have to go out there and shoot a lot of birdies and hope it's good enough.

Q. What would it mean to you to win?
LUKE DONALD: A great deal. This is a great tournament for The European Tour, and around the world, and it's got a great field. It's been a while since I've won, so hopefully I can get back in that winning circle.

Q. When was the last time you led with a round to play?
LUKE DONALD: It's been a while. Not this year. (Laughing).

Q. Playing well, obviously.
LUKE DONALD: Yeah, you know, just nothing -- I think since I finished fifth at The Open this year, I just seem to really get to grips with it, with the links golf after a while. For many years I really struggled. It's definitely a learning process to come out here, know when to attack, know when to kind of lay back off the tee, and I just love this golf. I feel like it's nice to shoot under par, significantly under par. I felt like the last six months I've been struggling to play par every week. Some of these courses we play out in the U.S. are very long and difficult, and they have become quite hard to shoot low numbers, and it's nice to have the wind obviously die down and there's a lot of birdie opportunities out there. It's fun to make birdies like this.

Q. Best of them today? Which are the highlights?
LUKE DONALD: 16, I laid up in two, to about 108 yards and just hit a little pitching wedge to about eight feet there and made that.
And then 17, really hit a nice drive. I was in a new divot in the fairway, but managed to squeeze a 7-iron to 12 feet there and rolled that one in.
The putter has been working well, and that's going to be the key again tomorrow. Usually you can give yourself a lot of chances around St. Andrews. It's whether you can take them or not. I know a few years ago I was in a similar position, and I played well but just didn't make the putts.
I definitely need to cope rolling the putts in.

Q. Tartan trousers planned?
LUKE DONALD: No, I don't think so. Just once. I don't think you can go too mad with these. But I'm glad I played well, because you have to play well to wear trouser this is outrageous. I think we will be a bit more certify even tomorrow.

Q. Do you remember the name of the tartan?
LUKE DONALD: Somebody told me this morning, black something. Black watch maybe. It's a Ralph Lauren.
My dad was born in Scotland, he's fully Scottish, but lived most of his life in England. Yeah, Donald, I'm half sweaty, as they say.

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