BMW Championship interview: Luke DonaldSeptember 16, 2013
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Q. You certainly gave it a run here. It looks like right now as we talk that you are in.
LUKE DONALD: Yeah, we know how these things change, but right now I'm 29th projected, so hopefully that'll hold up. I had to fight hard on that back nine.
Q. We were updating your score as you were making birdies, as you make the bogey at 16. It was hard to keep up. Did you know where you stood through most of the round?
LUKE DONALD: I figured at the beginning of the week top 5 or better was probably going to do it for me, and I knew I had to go pretty low today. Fortunately I got it going a little bit on the back nine when I needed to.
Q. How much of a home field advantage do you think you have this week?
LUKE DONALD: As many putts as I missed this week, probably not that much. But I certainly struck the ball very well. I had a bunch of lip outs this week, and if they had gone in I'd probably be contending for the title. But certainly it's always nice to be on familiar ground.
Q. This has been really exciting for all the fans to watch. I'm not sure it's that exciting for the players to have to endure, but it's been fun watching you play.
LUKE DONALD: Yeah, certainly felt the butterflies up the last couple. You knew what was on the line, and if you don't make it to Atlanta you don't have a chance to win that FedExCup.
Q. Did you know where you stood going into the day, and did you have something in mind that you needed to shoot to perhaps give yourself a chance to advance to next week?
LUKE DONALD: Well, I thought I had to finish top 5 at the very worst for the week. I kind of knew that going into this week, and I was hoping that being a member here would help me, and I think it did a little bit.
Q. You currently stand 29th in the FedExCup standings. You keep going back and forth in the numbers. How much will you pay attention over the next 45 minutes to an hour?
LUKE DONALD: Well, nothing I can control. I'll keep an eye on it. Hopefully what I've done is enough. Hopefully I've made it there and I've got another one more chance as a possible to win that FedExCup. It's unlikely being 29, 28, but it's certainly been done before when you look at Bill Haas who did it a few years ago.
Q. Quite a finish to this golf tournament for you, huh?
LUKE DONALD: Yeah. You know, a great 36 holes, a good weekend for me. To hopefully make it into next week, that was my goal, to play well enough to make it into Atlanta and still keep my hopes alive of a FedExCup Championship. It's obviously harder the higher you're up near 30, but certainly if you're not there, you don't have any chance.
Q. Can you talk a little bit about the tournament itself? It's been a huge success, hasn't it?
LUKE DONALD: Yeah, I've been very proud the way Conway Farms has looked on TV, how it's held up. I think there's been a mixture of some really great scores. We saw Jim Furyk's 59, we've seen a lot of high scores from some quality players, as well, and I think that spread is a good indication of a good championship golf course. I've heard a lot of positives from the players, and I think overall it's been a success. It's a shame we had to go to Monday with the weather yesterday, but certainly the crowds have come out, and pretty good for a Monday, to support and see the end of this tournament.
Q. At what point today did you think you were going to be able to get it done?
LUKE DONALD: Well, when I bogeyed 16 I knew I probably put myself out of the top 30, and I knew I probably needed to make a birdie or two coming in. 17 luckily with the rain you could go at that pin. If that was a couple days ago, that would have been a very tough pin to get close to. But I knew I had a chance, especially with 18 being a par 5. I thought if I got to 11, that might be good enough.
Q. Any nerves on that final putt on 18?
LUKE DONALD: Oh, absolutely. There was nerves the last couple holes, probably from 15 onwards. I knew I had got myself into position where I had a chance, and that's why we practice hard, to get in those positions, and fortunately I was able to hit some good shots when I needed to.
Q. Do you think the fans are getting into the standings thing a little bit?
LUKE DONALD: Yeah, I think so. I think it's been a good success the last few years. They haven't tinkered with it. PGA TOUR, they've kept it the same. It's produced some great champions, and it produces a lot of volatility, obviously. I haven't had my best year this year, but I knew with one good week I could turn my year around, and if I can hopefully hold on and make it to next week, I still have a chance. Look at what Bill Haas did a couple years ago, winning, I think, from 27th position.
I've notoriously played pretty well at East Lake. I've had chances to win there, and I'm excited to hopefully go there.
Q. Do you think this thing will be back at Conway Farms?
LUKE DONALD: Right now I think they're looking at having it back here in '15. I think from what I heard, it's done well on all fronts, on fan attendance, on selling tents, and the players have been very positive about it. I think it looks great on TV, and it's been a success from my standpoint.
Q. You hit a lot of fairways and greens today. Is that some of your work with Chuck coming through?
LUKE DONALD: I think so. You know, if you look at my stats this week, 4th or 5th in proximity to the hole; putting was 40th or 50th. I had a bunch of lip outs this week. If those had gone in, I think I would have been challenging for the lead.
Yeah, certainly starting to see a payoff. I'm hitting a lot better hit being more fairways, more greens, and just giving myself less work for par, I suppose.
Q. Is that a members' bounce you got on 15 out of the rough?
LUKE DONALD: Well, I knew I had yeah, it was a poor tee shot, and I knew I had to play that out to the right. That pin is pretty close to that slope. Fortunately got a good kick off the fringe, but I wasn't going to stop very quickly coming out of that rough, and I played it perfectly in the end.
Q. How closely do you keep tabs on the FedExCup points?
LUKE DONALD: I mean, I briefly looked at the end of each round. I knew I kept moving up slowly, and I was still projected 41 or 42 going into this round, so I knew I still needed a low one.
Q. But nothing today during the round?
LUKE DONALD: I didn't see it on the leaderboards, no.
Q. Is it strange playing on a Monday, or is it no different?
LUKE DONALD: It is strange, yeah. But that's the way the weather goes sometimes. We can't control that. It's unfortunate. I feel bad for Chad Ball, the superintendent. He almost got away with a course without too much mud, but unfortunately he's going to have his work cut out the next few weeks.
Q. You missed that Wildcat golf day today?
LUKE DONALD: I'm going to go down there later.