DUBLIN, Ohio — Luke Donald’s first round at the Olympic
Club, site of this year’s US Open, won’t happen until later this week.
Donald’s been thinking about it, though. The world’s top-ranked golfer knows
the world will be watching as he chases his first victory at a major.
“I’m excited to go there,” Donald said. “I’ve heard and I know
it’s going to be tough test. It’s a course that you’re going to have to have
good control and be able to shape it around. You have to be patient and have a
good short game. Hopefully that’s right up my alley.”
A 4-under 68 in Sunday’s final round at the Memorial Tournament propelled
Donald to a 12th-place finish and followed rounds of 73 and 75 that
knocked him out of contention. A week after winning the prestigious BMW Players
Championship at Wentworth in England, Donald was able to finish strong on a
Muirfield course he called “tricky,” sustaining the type of momentum
he hoped to carry into the US Open.
Lots of eyes are going to be on Donald in San Francisco, and with Tiger Woods
winning the Memorial, the buzz for the Open will only grow.
The 34-year-old Donald took over the world’s top ranking just before the
Memorial a year ago and has held it for all but two weeks since. He has talked
extensively about his desire to win a major and how winning a major
championship could boost his career. Even with a top-notch field and very tough
course expected for the Open, he feels he’s in a good spot to win it.
“After a bit of a slow start to the year, obviously it’s starting to pick
up,” Donald said. “I’m starting to find the similar form that I found
last year. Wentworth obviously being a kind place to me … I played very well
there since the redesign, and (I’m) happy with the way my game is progressing.
“I feel like I’m playing pretty well.”
In addition to winning at Wentworth, Donald has maintained a busy schedule with
four tournaments and two top-10 finishes since a 32nd-place showing
at the Masters. Even through tough rounds at the Memorial on Friday and
Saturday, he felt he was playing well enough to put himself where he wants to
be when the US Open Starts on June 14.
“I hit some good shots here,” Donald said. “When I had chances
earlier in the week I didn’t make them and I never really got going. I made a
couple mistakes and the course made me pay.
“My game isn’t far away. My scores haven’t been great this week (before
Sunday), but I feel like I’ve hit it better each day, actually. My scores have
kind of gone the other way, but that’s just how it is with golf sometimes. I’m
still feeding off a lot of good from the last few weeks and I’ll bring that to