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April 14, 2013

Luke Donald


Q.テつ You made some extra cash down the stretch with some birdies.
LUKE DONALD:テつ You know, it's nice to shoot 2‑under on my back nine.テつ The last two days you kind of pull your hair out, frustrating days where I felt like I played pretty decently, but there's a fine line at this course.テつ Too many times I was just on the other side of that line.テつ When you're staring down shots and they don't quite work out, they're frustrating sometimes.テつ But you know, I still walk away from this event feeling that my game is pretty close to where I want it to be.テつ I didn't hole enough putts this week again, but ball‑striking wise it was decent.

Q.テつ Do you feel like you're closer to winning the Masters someday?
LUKE DONALD:テつ I think so.テつ I think it's always going to be tougher for a guy that hits it my distance.テつ As important as short game is around here, some shots, no matter how good, you just can't get it close.テつ So going into these greens with less club, as I said, the margins are very fine.テつ If you're going in with an 8‑iron compared to a 5‑iron, it makes it a little bit easier.テつ But I still hold out hope.テつ Seeing someone like Brandt Snedeker who has a similar game to me doing well, I have confidence that it will work out.

Q.テつ Is it more the long par‑4s like 10 and 11, not being super long, or is it the par‑5s that you're not getting to?
LUKE DONALD:テつ I think I was 5‑under for the week for the par‑5s, which is okay.テつ I don't think I've ever struggled with the par‑5s.テつ It's just certain holes, 7, 11, holes where I'm hitting 3‑iron instead of some guys hitting 6‑ and 7‑irons.テつ It's a big difference.テつ But I still think when things go my way, it'll work out.

Q.テつ It's a couple months away, but Merion could set up nicely.テつ What do you think?
LUKE DONALD:テつ I have not played Merion, but certainly will go there.テつ It's a shorter course.テつ I think it's going to be more of a premium on accuracy.テつ Certainly my stats hitting fairways this year has been better.テつ I'm feeling more in control of my driver, so continue to work on that and I figure that'll put me in a good place for that week.

Q.テつ Is it something about golf in general now that the guy who's ranked 269th in the world is leading the Masters?
LUKE DONALD:テつ I do think it's a lot harder to win these days because the fields are so stacked.テつ Obviously he has an affinity for this course, just like a Fred Couples.テつ He knows how to play this course well and feels very comfortable around it.テつ He's a big, long hitter, as well.テつ He obviously feels like he has a chance.

Q.テつ Let me get a Taste of the First Tee quote while I've got you.テつ It's at North Shore Country Club this year, right?
LUKE DONALD:テつ Yeah, we're going to do it at North Shore Country Club.テつ I believe Commissioner Finchem is coming.テつ The PGA TOUR have been a great sponsor of the First Tee program, and it's nice to see them getting involved with the Chicago chapter.テつ Hopefully another great turnout and hopefully we can raise some much needed funds.

Q.テつ You didn't have the connections to get Conway or it's just too far away?
LUKE DONALD:テつ They're doing it there because of the Champions event.テつ It just made sense.テつ Hopefully we can maybe get one of the seniors come up, do a Q&A and have another good evening.

Q.テつ You've played so much here.テつ Can you still learn or is it a case of practicing what you already knew?
LUKE DONALD:テつ You do pick‑‑ the greens are so tricky, you do get in spots that you've never been before.テつ I feel like I think I know how to play this course, but I do come away with different strategies each year.テつ I think listening to Sneds, he plays pretty cautiously, obviously tries to pick off the par‑5s, and I think that is in general the right way to approach this course.テつ You know, I suppose in the past I felt like short game was really important.テつ I think coming away from this week, long game is important, as well.テつ You have such small areas to land the balls on some of these greens that being a good ball striker really helps, as well.

Q.テつ I think a lot of people don't realize the greens are quite expansive, but you've only got really little bits to get there, haven't you?
LUKE DONALD:テつ Exactly.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports


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