ST ANDREWS, September 21, 2017 – Luke Donald plays in this year’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, confident he can still return to the summit of golf.
“It’s been a tough few years but I still truly believe I have what it takes to be one of the best,” said Donald, after confirming he will be in the field for the 2017 Championship at St Andrews.
“I love the Dunhill Links. Victory is amazing anywhere, but to have it walking down the 18th at St Andrews is something all of us as professionals aspire to. I have had some success at the Dunhill before, coming close to winning in the past, and I love the challenge of links golf.”
Donald’s golden year was 2011 when he became World No.1 and the first man to top the European Tour and US PGA money lists.
He said: “Getting to No.1 in the world is my biggest accomplishment on the golf course and staying there for a total of 56 weeks is something I’m proud of. Some other things: going 4 for 4 in Ryder Cup wins with a 10-4-1 record. Going 483 holes without a three-putt and not missing a cut in a European Tour from 2002-2013 are all fun facts too.”
What was Donald’s secret in 2011 when he was so dominant? “I was the best in the world from 150 yards and in. I dominated the short game, scrambling and putting. I did it better than anyone else.”
However, he has not yet won a Major Championship. Is that a particular focus or disappointment for him?
“I always want to win Majors, but the game has changed a lot in the last few years. Between myself, Matt Kuchar and Jim Furyk, arguably three of the most consistent golfers, we have one Major between us – it’s not easy with our type of games to excel in Majors. But it doesn’t mean it can’t be done and I think I can do it.”
Donald now lives in the United States and plays most of his golf there. How difficult is it to adapt to Scottish weather and links golf.
“There is so much more strategy involved with links golf and patience needed in dealing with the often adverse weather conditions it takes a lot of course management. But I love that challenge and that’s why playing links golf is so much fun. It’s also hard to beat St Andrews – it is such a special place, the whole town just has a great feel to it, so much culture and history.”
What does he feel about the unique Alfred Dunhill Links Championship format of professionals playing with amateurs?
“I’ve met some great people playing the Dunhill Links and formed some great friendships. Having an amateur play with you also brings a different level of relaxation to the event. We are all trying to play well, but somehow having a team-mate with you makes it more of an easy going feel – it’s a fun event. And I’m looking forward to a fun week.”