Golf News

Luke Donald wins the 2012 BMW PGA Championship

 

LUKE DONALD Interview

PAUL SYMES: Many congratulations to win the BMW Champion, Luke Donald. Winning once is an achievement, but to successfully defend is very special indeed. You must be thrilled.

LUKE DONALD: I am thrilled. Obviously this is the first time I've defended a title, and a great one to choose to defend, is right here.

This is a special event for me, means a lot. I didn't think it could get much better after last year's victory, going to No. 1. But to win again, this course has been very kind to me and, yeah, truly very, very happy right now.

PAUL SYMES: Going back to the start of the round, you had a couple of makeable putts, perhaps out of character, but that didn't seem to knock you off your stride at all.

LUKE DONALD: Well, I felt some tension out there. It's not easy going out there with a lead and trying to close a tournament out. Justin is a solid player. I knew he wasn't going to give up much, and I knew that I had to go out there and earn it. And it was a shaky start. I hit a poor shot at the first tee, I didn't hit a very good tee shot off 2, and made a mess of 4. Wasn't the start I was looking for.

But the finish was certainly every bit of what I was looking for, and extremely happy with the way I closed out the event.

PAUL SYMES: The 10th hole in particular felt like a classic match-play situation, Justin odds on to close the gap to one, and you walk off the green and you have a lead of three.

LUKE DONALD: It was a little bit like that. I holed some good putts, 6, 7 and 10 were great putts to hole. Obviously 10, Rosey had a pretty good opportunity there and missed it, and that was the turnaround.

But I was more satisfied, I suppose, with my tee shots down the stretch. There's some tricky holes where you have to thread it through gaps through the bunkers; and to stand up and hit some solid tee shots, that in the past maybe has let me down a little bit, was more satisfying than anything.

PAUL SYMES: And obviously the win has the added bonus to bring you back to world No. 1, and a great week to do it, as well.

LUKE DONALD: Yeah, something sweet about going 12 months and still being No. 1. Obviously swapped it with Rory a couple of times, but to go a 12-month span is something I'm very proud of. Just an indication that I'm doing the right things, and my game is improving.

Q. What is it about this place since the re-design that you seem to find easier than others?

LUKE DONALD: Well, a few things. I think, one, I'm a better player since 2010. Coming off that wrist injury 2009 was a learning year for me, having to try and trust my injury. But I think I've shown a lot of improvement since 2010. I think obviously that helps.

You have to play well around here. The relaying of the greens, before when they were poa annua, they were a little bit -- they didn't always stay on the line that you putted on. Now, with the newer greens, the ball goes where you hit it. You can trust that.

And it's a course that really favors a lot of patience and a lot of shot-making. I don't think necessarily hitting it far is a huge factor around here. It's more of a positional golf course, and you know, combination of those three things has really made this tournament very good to me.

Q. Watching you earlier and in general watching you, hard to tell sometimes whether you've had a bogey or a birdie; is that part of what you work with Dave Alred to sort of have a neutral kind of emotion? But inside, are you feeling the ups and downs?

LUKE DONALD: Yes, I think I've always kind of come across that way, even before I worked with Dave. But we certainly -- he certainly is always on at me again, as we talked yesterday, about keeping the shoulders back and being -- not getting down on myself, staying positive, and not just through mentally, but through physically and your body position.

So I think I've done a lot better job of it since I've been working with Dave. He's always reminding me. But certainly there are up and downs, like anyone. You would be like if you said, if you didn't feel the pressure and you didn't feel some doubt over some shots, but you try and stand over it, and when it's time to pull the trigger, be committed about the shot.

Q. We used to say that maybe 12, 18 months ago you could walk down the street and not many people would have recognised you. Do you think what you've done in those 12 or 18 months has probably changed that?

LUKE DONALD: Somewhat. You know, certainly my life has not changed a great deal. I mean, it's a great indication that I'm obviously well-liked, and big thank you to the crowds that have come in to support me these last four days. I had a great following every day. I think I'm being a lot more well known over here, even though I spend a lot of time in the U.S.

And in terms of going out, outside golf, though, it's still not a hassle. I do get recognised, but it's not a big deal.

Q. When you win a tournament like that, do you feel like the best player in the world?

LUKE DONALD: Well, I feel that when I'm playing well, I'm hard to beat. I think, you know, could be 20, 25 guys who would say that; when they are on their game, any given week, that they are going to be tough to beat. I feel like I'm part of that group.

Q. Giving that aura off, especially down the stretch, you said you've been working on that, and it's showing?

LUKE DONALD: It's really showing in my golf, and not just in terms of body positions and all that. But you know, as I said, I was proud of the drives I hit; 12, I hit in the bunker but I thought I hit a good tee shot there actually. I'm not sure if it bounced right. Ripped one on 13. Hit a great drive on 15. 16 right down and 17, as well. In previous years, the tee shot on 17 really cost me two years ago and I made double-bogey there and lost the tournament. So I'm improving.

Q. Just looking forward a bit, you finished first, joint-second are Justin and Paul Lawrie. If we can carry on that way, that's a great core for The Ryder Cup looking forward.

LUKE DONALD: Well, I think it's shaping up nicely, our team. The U.S. guys are playing well, too. But you know, Justin is a solid player. I don't have any doubt that he'll be on the team, and Paul has been playing great, too.

I think it's going to be a tough battle, as it always is. But we're going to have -- I think Ollie is going to have the satisfaction of having a lot of people in form to pick from, and that's always a good thing.

Q. And having played with him over three of the four days, would you be keen maybe to have him as a partner?

LUKE DONALD: I think we would make a good partnership, whether four-ball or foursomes. Justin has the game to win a U.S. Open for sure. He hits it very good off the tees and a similar kind of game to Lee. He strikes it solid, doesn't make a lot of mistakes.

I'm sure he's working on just getting a little bit better on the greens, but you know, he's certainly making big strides in that area, too. I see a lot of great things coming from Justin.

Q. Justin said afterwards that it was very hard to play against somebody who putts with such authority. I just wondered, do you think you're starting to get that aura that world No. 1s in the past have had, or do you see a difference in the body language of the people that you're playing against, or in their attitudes?

LUKE DONALD: Well, personally, I just feel like it's helped me. It's helped me to really be aware of my posture and how I outwardly project that feeling of positiveness, I suppose. It helps me, and you know, obviously sends a message to whoever I'm playing with.

But you know, it helps, it helps to feel very confident on the greens, too. It's always been a strength of mine, especially in the last four or five years, and it's a big, big weapon in my arsenal.

Q. I think I heard you say in the television interview immediately afterwards was "winning majors," plural. Is that a definite thing? Mickelson changed from winning 'a major' to winning, 'majors.'

LUKE DONALD: Well, I certainly think I have the ability. It's putting four rounds together like I did this week. But I would love to win more than one major, yeah.

Q. That's not a change of mind-set just now to try to get over the hurdle?

LUKE DONALD: I don't think so. Obviously winning one major would satisfy some of my critics. But personally, you know, the goal is to win more than one. I feel like I have that ability, and hopefully that will happen.

PAUL SYMES: Congratulations again, Luke. The media will be delighted to learn that Luke has also bought you some champagne in addition to the wine he donated earlier in the week. Thanks very much.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports ...

 
 

Visit our Online Golf Shops Page for retailers

 
Go to the PGA Tour website
Go to the Golfing World website
Go to The Open Championship website
Go to the Masters website
Home Courses Ranges Online Shops

High Street Golf Shops Golf Holidays Golf Property Contact Us

Information Centre Links Tourist Info

Privacy Disclaimer

Golf-NorthWest.co.uk 2012