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The Tour Report

March 16 2013

4:37 PM

Donald quietly moves into contention


Don’t sleep on defending champion Luke Donald on Sunday at the Tampa Bay Championship presented by EverBank.

Donald carded a bogey-free 4-under 67 Saturday to reach the clubhouse at 4-under, leaving him tied for eighth, two back of co-leaders Kevin Streelman, Justin Leonard and George Coetzee at Innisbrook.

"It was nice to go around this course not make a mistake, not drop a shot, and you know, I wanted to shoot five or six under, nearly got there, a couple missed putts and didn't birdie any par fives," Donald said. "Could have been a really low round today. But yeah, certainly moving in the right direction, as I said, I feel like my game has been close, and obviously starting to show with some results"

A year ago, Donald entered the final round tied for seventh and, three back of co-leaders Jim Furyk and Retief Goosen. All he did from there was post a Sunday 66 before defeating Furyk, Robert Garrigus and Sang-moon Bae in a playoff.

That finish pushed Donald from 85th to 12th in the FedExCup standings. The Englishman would go on to finish ninth – his third consecutive top-10 – in the final FedExCup standings.

This season, Donald is off to a slow start by his standards, with no top-15 finishes in his first three events. A successful title defense at Innisbrook, however, could move him from 95th into the top 20 once again.

"It's a fine line between success and finishing 30th," Donald said. "I think a lot of my fans and myself, you know, have always expected me to see me in the Top‑10 and up at the top of the leaderboard every week and sometimes golf is just not that easy."

Another solid round Sunday and Donald's fans will get to see him finish inside the top 10 for the first time in 2013.