What they said: Luke DonaldApril 22, 2011
PGA TOUR staff
MORE INTERVIEWS: The Heritage transcript archive
JOHN BUSH: Luke Donald joins us in the interview room. Currently leading the Heritage at 10-under par.
Luke, another solid round today. Your comments on the 6-under, 65.
LUKE DONALD: Yeah, solid day today. Off to a great start, again, birdieing the first two holes gave me some good momentum. I played that front 9 really well. The back nine is a little bit tougher, but, yeah, again, I did a lot of good things today, drove it reasonably well. Some of my misses were in good places where I could get a good up-and-down. It was a solid day.
JOHN BUSH: Talk about the high level of confidence you're playing now since the win at the Accenture Match Play Championship, and just solid play ever since.
LUKE DONALD: Yeah, winning hopefully brings more winning. It gave me a boost of confidence. I hadn't won out here for a few years on the U.S. TOUR. And I think it alleviated a bit of pressure on myself to know that the hard work I've been doing paid off. It's nice to play well and have chances to win, but winning is a much bigger deal and it was a good steppingstone for me.
Q. Do you think you're due out here based on the last two years??
LUKE DONALD: I've certainly played well here the last couple of years. This is a course you need to come in here and have good control of your golf ball, or you're not going to do well out here because it's so narrow and so tight and fiddley. It's a fiddley golf course, you really need to position it in good places. And I've done that the last couple of years. I'm just following suit this year.
Q. There's talk about what could happen if you win, you'd be No. 1. Has that distracted you at all so far this week, or have you been able to kind of put it aside??
LUKE DONALD: Well, I'm playing well, so I guess it's always in the back of your mind. It's hard to get away from knowing that with Twitter and Facebook and the media and everything, you obviously know what's at stake. But, again, if I manage to go and win it's -- being No. 1 is just the outcome. It's still about concentrating on the process is all I can control and obviously I can't control that. But I can control where I hit the golf ball, and hopefully I'll give myself a good shot at it come Sunday.
Q. Everybody sort of looked at Tiger as No. 1 as the best player, with the moving around possibly you taking over, I don't think it's switched hands as much in about ten or 15 years. Does No. 1 mean you're the best or think you're the best or does it give you the confidence to maybe think that??
LUKE DONALD: Well, if you look at the system it means you're performing the most consistently over a two-year period. That's all I can say. It would certainly be an honor and a great achievement to accomplish.
Q. Do you file the way you're playing, after your win at the Match Play, your performance at the Masters, that you are the top player in the world??
LUKE DONALD: Not yet (laughter).
Q. The past two years, getting so close here, is there anything you took away from those tournaments thinking, if I could do this better, I could win here??
LUKE DONALD: It's hard to remember, but I know one year, the year I finished second I was ten shots behind Brian Gay, but he just ran away with it. But I think both last couple of years I've gotten off to slow starts. Obviously this year I've gotten off to a quicker start, so hopefully that's the difference.
Q. Do you continue to gain confidence on this course the more you see it, the more you play??
LUKE DONALD: Yeah, anytime you play a course well, you approach it with a little bit more confidence. As I said, you start hitting in the right places continually, that's where you expect to hit it. And obviously it is a difficult course, so you really have to be wary of it, but there are obviously birdie opportunities out there. But it's a narrow course. And again, the last couple of years I've come here playing reasonably well, where I've had control of the golf ball, which is very key at this place.
JOHN BUSH: Let's go through the card. Starting at 1.
LUKE DONALD: Driver, 9-iron to about six feet.
No. 2, I hit drive and 4-iron, pitched it to about 15 feet and made that.
5, driver and rescue, on the front edge and two-putted from about 40 feet.
7, I hit a 5-iron, made about a ten-foot putt there.
9, I hit 5-iron off the tee and sand iron to five feet.
JOHN BUSH: Bogey on No. 10.
LUKE DONALD: 10, I hit driver and 6-iron just short left of the green, chipped to 7 feet, missed it.
11, I hit driver and 7-iron and made a putt from about 20 feet and it was a good putt.
15, I hit drive, 5-iron, sand iron to about ten feet.
Q. If you could look at the stats and say you're doing this better or you're putting better or what have you, but in your mind what do you think you're doing better, that you've been doing better all year??
LUKE DONALD: You know, I'm driving it a little bit better. Tee to green I'd say I'm improving. I feel more confident. I feel like my swing is getting more solid where I'm standing up there and having a better idea of where it's going, tee to green.
I think the last few years my short game has been very good, but I haven't driven it as well, and consequently haven't hit as many greens as I'd like and I had to rely on my short game. But now I'm hitting it in the fairway a little bit more, hitting the greens a little bit more, and my short game has remained pretty solid.
JOHN BUSH: Luke, thank you, play well this weekend.