Luke Donald may be the quietest number one player in the world since the beginning of the rankings in 1986.
Since the end of May, Donald has been in the top spot and during that time he has won only one time at The Barclays Scottish Open on the European Tour. It’s true he captured the BMW PGA Championship in Europe to get to the top of the world and since that playoff victory over Lee Westwood, Donald has been relatively consistent, but in a very quite way.
Donald has missed only one cut at the Open Championship at Royal St. George’s, but has three top 10’s including a runner-up finish at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and with a T18 at The Barclays last week is fifth in the FedEx Cup points list.
“I think it’s in my nature just continually to work hard,” Donald said of what has gotten him to the top of the world. “I just feel like I don’t have as much talent as some of the other guys out here, and I have to work at it. I feel nervous coming into an event if I haven’t prepared well enough, and for me just not working hard enough isn’t an option. I just need to put in that work.”
Working with his coach Pat Goss this week in Boston, Donald has been putting in the time with two additional days of practice after losing Sunday to Hurricane Irene and the traditional Friday start to this week’s event.
“I played nicely today in the pro‑am, made a bunch of birdies,” Donald said. “I feel like I am swinging well. Obviously I had a good week here last year, finishing second, I think, on a course that I hadn’t played that well in previous years, but found something last year, and obviously would hope to draw from that and hope to draw from the positive feelings I feel about my golf swing right now.”
Donald is a lock for the Tour Championship in two weeks, but Donald will need to put a string together of solid starts to have a legitimate chance to win the FedEx Cup. Its something that Donald understands very well.
“I think winning is more important than ever during the Playoffs, than it is during the regular season,” Donald said. “I mean, with the points times by five, there’s a lot more volatility, and winning is very important. “
Stuart Hall is editor of the Golf Press Association.