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March 12, 2011

Luke Donald


Q. We asked you at the Match Play, if you won, we thought you were the No. 3 in the world; how do you feel about that now?
LUKE DONALD: I'm certainly playing very good golf right now, some of the best I've ever played.
So as I said, I don't really take too much notice of the World Rankings. It would be great to get to that No. 1 spot and it certainly is very attainable right now, just how close the points are.
But I'm still going to keep continuing to concentrate on getting better and hopefully I can have a good day tomorrow and we'll see what happens.
No, I certainly feel like I'm playing some of my best golf, and if that's the third-best ranked player in the world, then so be it.

Q. When you left Dubai at the end of last year with an 11-week break ahead of you, is this how you planned it in your diary; that you would do well at the Accenture, do well here, challenge here and then go on to the Masters?
LUKE DONALD: Obviously you can't plan in golf. It's a funny game. Sometimes you have it and sometimes you don't. Certainly the break really paid off. I felt refreshed and I did a lot of good work leading up to L.A.
So it's obviously showing it on the golf course.

Q. In the scale of superstitions, do you worry too much about playing this well, taking a break and then taking it forward to Augusta?
LUKE DONALD: I don't really believe in superstition. I believe in hard work and hopefully that will pay off.

Q. Where did you last play to this level of consistency, would you say?
LUKE DONALD: Probably 2006, I had a really good year. I think I had ten Top-10s or something like that. I had a bit of a lean period, through 2007, 2008, 2009 through injury as well.
Last year was solid but certainly tee-to-green I'm swinging a little bit better now. My swing is technically sounder and I'm feeling more and more comfortable on certain shots which I didn't last year and obviously the results are showing that.

Q. Seems almost every hole you play now is a hole that you can birdie -- how many birdies, 32 birdies at the Match Play --
LUKE DONALD: 32 I think, yeah.

Q. And seven today, pretty good.
LUKE DONALD: Again I don't really think that way. I go out and take each hole as it comes and try and plot my way and give myself good opportunities for birdie. Obviously the first two days, actually played just as well as today. I just struggled a little bit on the greens, didn't make too much but hit a bunch of greens and today I kind of did both, hit plenty of greens and made some good putts, as well.

Q. Do you know what your schedule is between now and the Masters?
LUKE DONALD: I'm not playing until the Masters.

Q. Will you make a trip up to Augusta to scout?
LUKE DONALD: I will, yeah. I'm going to go up either Thursday, Friday, Saturday, somewhere like that, the week before.

Q. What is more important, mental freshness or physical freshness?
LUKE DONALD: (Thinking over answer). I think they carry equal weight to be honest.

Q. Is that typical for you to go in a week before Augusta?
LUKE DONALD: I did it in 2005, my first year and I might have done it one more year, but I haven't done it every year.

Q. Martin said earlier this week that he was trying to create more of a draw off the tee specifically for Augusta. Would you do something like that? Have you ever done anything like that to play a specific golf course?
LUKE DONALD: Certainly a draw helps for a right-handed golfer at Augusta. I think that's why Augusta has been pretty good for Phil. I think it's easier to control a fade, and as a left-hander, he's been able to really work it very well around some of those doglegs. It's something I will be thinking about the next few weeks.
Everything I've been doing in the last few weeks leading up to the start of this season is a little bit towards that. It's not specifically for Augusta but I've always struggled a little bit in left-to-right winds holding it. You know, some of the stuff I've been working on is aimed to help that. So in essence, it is kind of working on being able to hit a draw more easily.

Q. Do you think short game or long game has more weight there?
LUKE DONALD: I think five or ten years ago it was all short game but now there's definitely more weight on long game. I still think on any course, short game is extremely important and more important. But it's certainly a course where you need to drive it well now, and obviously it helps to hit it far there now.
But I still think it's very, very tricky around the greens and if you can putt and chip well, you're going to be there near the end.

Q. Will Dave Alred feature in your preparations the next three weeks?
LUKE DONALD: He's not going to come over, I believe. We haven't really talked about that, but he may come over, I'm not sure.
It would probably be more the week before we would just do some work at home at the Bear's Club in preparation for it.

Q. I know you said it's not a mental --
LUKE DONALD: No, it's more working through some drills and routines and kind of creating some pressure when I'm practicing.

Q. And the fact that his skills are focused more towards rugby, how does it come across into golf?
LUKE DONALD: Well, I think every sport is the same. You have to compete under pressure, and we work on stuff to kind of emulate pressure situations, and that's kind of just the same in rugby I suppose.

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