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July 22, 2012

Luke Donald


Q.  Thoughts on the round?
LUKE DONALD:  Well, it was one of those where it could have been really special.  Again, it was a very solid round tee‑to‑green.  I didn't do a lot wrong.  It could have been four or five better with a few putts.
I lipped out on 7, 8, 9 and again on 12.  So I had chances on 15 and 16.  So it was one of those rounds where I did a lot of good things.  Unfortunately I couldn't quite hole the putts, but I'll take a lot of positives away from this week.  Certainly I'll leave this week knowing that my game is definitely good enough to win majors.
Yeah, it's a big step forward for me from a few weeks back, from the U.S. Open.

Q.  You smiled the whole way, really, every day.  You've obviously really enjoyed yourself.
LUKE DONALD:  Well, it was a conscious effort, too.  As I said at the beginning of the week, sometimes I get a little bit too uptight, a little bit anxious.  But I have that choice to smile or not.  Sometimes you have to fake it, sometimes it's real.  But obviously I felt a lot more comfortable in terms of my game coming into this week as opposed to the U.S. Open.
I worked hard on my long game, spent a lot more time on the range than I usually would.  As a result that helps.  I felt comfortable in terms of my game and I was able to go out there and enjoy it a little bit more.

Q.  Was that a real breakthrough for you, as opposed to previous majors where you did feel so much self‑imposed pressure?
LUKE DONALD:  Well, sometimes you do learn a lot by playing poorly like I did at the U.S. Open and not living up to my expectations.  I certainly was very anxious and didn't do a good job on the mental side.  So this week was a huge improvement in terms of that and I'll use that going forward.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
LUKE DONALD:  Well, of course, any time you welcome a child into the world.  He has a smile on his face at all times anyway, but he was especially beaming when I saw him yesterday when he came back through the door.  And he'll have a nice eight or nine days at home enjoying being a father.

Q.  Is he calling him Luke?
LUKE DONALD:  No, not really, because it's a girl (laughter).  It would be a bit strange.  No, Georgina.

Q.  Your home country, but the reception was really terrific for you this week?
LUKE DONALD:  It is.  I get really great crowd support here.  The fans are cheering me on, a lot of "Luke" shouts.  It's fun to play in front of‑‑ even when you make a mistake and make a bogey, they're there cheering you on and pushing you on, and you use that.  It's always great to play in front of a home crowd.

Q.  You were 5th on the leaderboard and rising.
LUKE DONALD:  Just on the greens.  In previous Open Championships I have struggled on the greens.  They're 300 years old and they settle a little bit and they're very tough to read.  They're not like the greens we play on week in and week out, which have a consistent burrow to them.  There's almost a bit more of a feel it to get the ball in.  I felt like I hit a lot of good shots today, good putts, but they just‑‑ it wasn't quite finding the bottom of the hole.
I'll come away from here with a lot of confidence knowing that my game tee‑to‑green was easily good enough to win this week.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
LUKE DONALD:  It is what it is.  It's nice being No.1.  I'll continue to work hard on my game and try and produce good results.  I mean, World Rankings is a little bit more about consistency.  I've probably been the most consistent player over the year.

Q.  Next for you are the Bridgestone and the US PGA?
LUKE DONALD:  Yeah, it never ends.  A few days off and then back at it.  Obviously the World Golf Championship and then the PGA.  It's a quick turnaround to the next major.  And then obviously after that on to the FedExCup and the Ryder Cup.  It's a busy stretch for me, but I'm excited.  I'm excited where my game is.

Q.  You've lived in America for a long time now, but how much do you feel the burden, if any, to win an Open or a major?  You're in the pantheon of very good golfers, English golfers.  How much would it mean to win one for the country?  Do you feel that at all?
LUKE DONALD:  Well, I think it would be fantastic to win one here.  Even being somewhat in contention, having the crowd really behind me, it's a special feeling.  There's nothing quite like walking down 18 with the crowds cheering you on and really behind you.  I can only imagine what that would be like with a one‑shot lead.  And hopefully I'll have that opportunity one day.

Q.  Is there any difference being a contender and winning a major, might be more mental than technical?
LUKE DONALD:  Obviously technically, as I said, tee‑to‑green, I was good enough to win this week.  It was certainly solid enough, hit a lot of fairways, a lot of greens.  It just came down to the short stick, which usually is a very strength of mine.  But again, it's a different type of surface, The Open Championship.  Sometimes you just need to get on those runs where it goes in.  Certainly I didn't hit too many poor putts, it's just getting on that run.  It will happen.

Q.  Any thoughts on using the longer putter?
LUKE DONALD:  Unlikely I'll go there.  But I wouldn't mind seeing them not allowed to be used, I'll put it that way.

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