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June 15 2012

8:49 PM

No. 1 Donald won’t see weekend

SAN FRANCISCO -- Luke Donald struggled with his putter. He also felt uncomfortable with his swing.

Not even the world's top-ranked player can overcome those kinds of problems on a difficult U.S. Open course.

Donald finished his 36 holes at the Olympic Club in 11 over after shooting a 2-over 72 in Friday's second round. That won't be good enough to make the cut, a disappointing result for a player who many expected to contend this week.

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Donald essentially shot himself out of the tournament in the first round when he carded a 9-over 79 that included nine missed putts inside 10 feet. He said he simply couldn't get a feel for the greens, as he needed 36 putts -- a shocking number for the player who ranks third in strokes gained-putting, the PGA TOUR's primary putting stat.

"if I had putted a little bit better yesterday I could have ground out a score today and maybe been somewhere decently placed for the weekend," Donald said. "But it wasn't to be and I'm trying to learn from it and come back stronger next time."

Donald didn't see the Olympic Club until Saturday but said that was ample time to prepare for this week. Plus, he added, the course is playing different in competition than during practice rounds.

"I feel like I was just prepared as I'll be," he said. "I certainly don't regret anything that I did before teeing up on Thursday. I just didn't come here swinging well enough, and obviously my putter was a bit cold this week."

Donald will take the next three weeks off, then play the Scottish Open before teeing it up at the British Open, his next opportunity to claim his first major.

"Certainly that's the one part of my golfing resume in the last few years especially that I need to continually address and continually improve," Donald said. "I want to win one more than any of you guys know. And obviously I'll continue to try and do that."

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