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January 21, 2014

Luke Donald


MICHAEL GIBBONS:テつ Luke, welcome, happy new year, all those nice things.テつ Welcome back to Qatar.テつ How long's it been?
LUKE DONALD:テつ 2008 was my last time here, so it's been a while.テつ The course is very much the same.テつ Glad to be back.テつ Course is in good shape.テつ It's a good layout.テつ This is a good test.
MICHAEL GIBBONS:テつ What kind of shape are you in?
LUKE DONALD:テつ Still working on the game hard.テつ Last week, yeah, it's always been a tricky week for me.テつ I think the course demands a lot tee‑to‑green, and didn't hit enough fairways, especially the last three rounds.テつ Just working through some of the changes that I'm working on, and I feel like every week I'm improving and getting better.
So it's nice to play another week this week and see where my game is under tournament conditions.

Q.テつ Can you talk about your win in Japan and how that helped your confidence?
LUKE DONALD:テつ Yeah, I think going back and defending was a confidence boost and just made me feel like some of the changes I was implementing in my swing were the correct ones and sort of just gave me a lot of confidence on a very narrow, tight course that the Dunlop Phoenix is played on; that I could hit a lot of fairways and hit a lot of greens and control my ball.テつ Certainly I've always had good feelings about that place, and it was nice to go there and pick up a win.

Q.テつ You probably know the answer to this question but what's the reason for playing here in Qatar this year?
LUKE DONALD:テつ It's a little bit based on some of the regulations from last year's European Tour Final Series.テつ I wanted to make sure I had plenty of events early on so I could have a little bit more choice at the end of the year.テつ Me and a few other players weren't over the moon that we had to play certain events at the end of the year, and I just want to make sure that I have a choice on my schedule come the end of the year.
But you know, it's a long way to travel, and I have just played Abu Dhabi; it's a long way to travel for one week, so I thought I would come back and play this week, as well.

Q.テつ Taking that a step further, have you spoken to Thomas about that?
LUKE DONALD:テつ Yeah, talking to Thomas and talking a lot of the guys at the Tour, George, and everyone involved.テつ I think that they have done a good job of communicating and talking to a lot of the top guys, especially the guys that play on both tours.テつ I think that they are trying to find a solution that's right for everyone.テつ They want to make some kind of incentive to play more, but I don't think they want to put a mandate on playing certain tournaments.

Q.テつ Do you think that The Final Series, there's too much importance attached to it now; that you can achieve almost anything by not playing that well during the season but then in The Final Series?
LUKE DONALD:テつ It's an issue we've had for a number of years on The European Tour, and even with The Ryder Cup, that certain events are worth so much that a player can win nine, ten months before The Ryder Cup and almost lock up their position, and similar with the Final Series.テつ You can have a great run right at the end, and come through, but I think that's just the nature of the tournaments and the disparity in some of the purses that we have throughout the European schedule.
You know, again, The European Tour are trying their best to make those more even, but when you have sponsors offering 7.5 million to play for, it's hard to say no, and that's just the kind of reality that we are at. テつIt's a good problem for us, I suppose.
MICHAEL GIBBONS:テつ Luke, thanks very much.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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