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August 25, 2000

Luke Donald


LUKE DONALD: Do I have to use this again? Let's see, today was an extremely tough match for me, both me and Bryce, really struggled with our games to start off with. And it wasn't really very crowd-pleasing golf. The front 9 I think we were both -- I was 2-over and he was 3-over and I was 1-up. But it got exciting at the end. Bryce made an extremely good putt at 14 to go 1-up. I just had to really dig deep. Made a huge putt on 15 and a really good 4, birdied 4 on 17, too.

Q. It seemed like you guys were just bumping along, par, par, bogey, par. I guess around -- well, neither of you had a birdie, I don't think, through 11 maybe.

LUKE DONALD: That's right.

Q. And then he makes one on 12, then you make one on 14, I guess.

LUKE DONALD: He made birdies on 12 and 14.

Q. And you got one on 14, all of a sudden it was birdie, birdie, birdie. What was it that got you guys going?

LUKE DONALD: It's hard to say. 12, Bryce hit an excellent shot and that pin is reasonably rewarding for a short iron. And he made a good birdie there. 14, he just made a good putt. Then once you find yourself 1-down, then, you know, you know par is not going to be good enough. So you just have to dig deep and really find my form again.

Q. Have you been going at 17 all week?

LUKE DONALD: Excuse me?

Q. Have you been going at 17 all week?

LUKE DONALD: My first match I got to 17, the last two matches I finished on 15. So on that occasion against Sean Knapp, I went for it and was just on the front edge, was just short. I didn't expect to hit it long there, I had 277 to the middle. I hit maybe 20 yards long.

Q. Was there any hesitation there to go 3-wood?

LUKE DONALD: No hesitation really. Bryce was in the rough, so he wasn't in a great position. I think if I had got anywhere up there near the green, whether it was in the rough or in the bunker, I think I would have been in a better position than Bryce. So I just felt confident. That was the shot I wanted to hit straight from the start and I hit it.

Q. You didn't exactly seem to have a long conversation with your caddie about it.

LUKE DONALD: Not really. Larry is a great caddie, but I'm always going to make the final decision.

Q. Sure.

LUKE DONALD: I pictured the shot and that's how I wanted to hit it. He pretty much told me to hit it, too.

Q. Was there a feeling at a certain point -- I mean early on, I don't want to be putting words in your mouth, but it almost seemed like you were both laying back a little bit, maybe feeling each other out, trying to see, "Okay, is this guy going to fall apart," neither of you were exactly extending yourselves. You seemed to be trying to play more risk-free golf than let's go out and make a bunch of birdies. That kind of thing.

LUKE DONALD: Yeah, I think both of us

almost -- I'm not sure if nervous is the right word, but we seemed a little tense. And it's hard to make birdies when you're tense and Bryce made a couple of early bogeys, which surprised me. Then I followed him later on. But, yeah, as you say, I'm not sure. Maybe we were being a bit too protective, trying to really keep it below the hole and maybe just overdoing it.

Q. Is it just had a lot to do with -- you won the NCAAs, he's been Player of the Year. You're both accomplished players. Does that feed into that?

LUKE DONALD: Yeah, I think so. But it's a big occasion. The crowds were a lot, lot bigger today than the rest of the week, and maybe that had something to do with it, just getting used to it.

Q. Are the crowds a factor, you think? Were they boisterous, were they enthusiastic? How would you describe them?

LUKE DONALD: They were a very good crowd. They applauded good shots, and they weren't any way bad towards me. I mean Bryce being the American and me being the guy from overseas, I didn't feel that they were at all pro towards Bryce.

Q. How would you describe your game coming in to the day versus your game today? In other words, your game say over the first three matches.

LUKE DONALD: First three matches, if I played the way I did first three matches and Bryce played the same way he did today, maybe we could have finished it out in 14 or something. But that didn't -- that wasn't the case, and both of us struggled. Hopefully I can -- I'm going to go to the range and try and smooth out some of those bad shots that I had. But tomorrow's a new day and I'm just glad to get this one over with.

Q. Do you know much about James Driscoll?

LUKE DONALD: I played with him a couple times in college. He seems like a very methodical player, very consistent. Doesn't do a lot wrong. It's going to be another tough match.

Q. It sounds like somebody describing Luke Donald. Methodical, consistent, doesn't do a lot wrong.

LUKE DONALD: Right. I think our games are pretty similar. It's going to be another close one, I expect.

Q. Luke, after Gary lost, he said that he thought you would win the whole title. Do you think you can win?

LUKE DONALD: Obviously I think I can win. I'm still here, aren't I? (Laughter.) Two more matches. Two more wins. Gary would say that, though, once he's beaten.

End of FastScripts….

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