June 16 2013
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
ARDMORE, Pa. -- Just as Justin Rose said he was inspired by Adam Scott's win at the Masters, Luke Donald says he can draw motivation from both his friends.
He played with Rose on Sunday at Merion and watched as he became the first Englishman to win the U.S. Open since Tony Jacklin in 1970. Donald, who spent more than a year as the world's No. 1 player, shot a 75 but ended up tied for eighth -- his first top-10 finish ever in the season's second major.
"I come away with some positive feelings," Donald said. "I got in position in a U.S. Open. I haven't really done that in my career. So there's definitely positives. I know what I need to work on. I need to continue to get better in my ball-striking and control that trajectory and that line.
"I think Adam and Justin have similar games. They're very good tee to green. Occasionally their Achilles heel is the short game and the putting. Sometimes great ball striking can trump that, even at a U.S. Open."
Donald, who closed with a 33, got off to an extremely slow start on Sunday with a string of four straight bogeys. The streak started at the third hole where he pulled a driver and ended up hitting one of the people working the scoreboard in the elbow.
"And she was in some pain and felt a little bit faint, and I felt a little bit faint, too, watching it," Donald said. "Unfortunately you never like that to happen, and it was a very tough break for her."
Donald, who gave the woman a signed glove, wouldn't go so far as to say the accident contributed to the next three bogeys, though.
"I felt pretty bad at the time," he said. "But it was business as usual in the fourth. Obviously I played that stretch pretty poorly. But I don't really use that as an excuse."