Golf: Donald determined to get back on winning trail

WENTWORTH - Luke Donald tees off in the BMW PGA Championship here on Thursday determined to arrest a slump that has led to him being labelled the forgotten man of European golf.
Long tipped for greatness, Donald is now 31 and, without a win since March 2006, has found himself eclipsed by the likes of Padraig Harrington and Sergio Garcia (all of whom are not playing here) while Rory McIlroy is now regarded as a more likely future winner of major tournaments.

Golf: Donald determined to get back on winning trail
Donald admits he has not yet achieved as much as he had hoped for in his career but, after recovering from wrist surgery that wrecked the second half of 2008 for him, sees no reason why he cannot get back to winning ways at Wentworth this week.
"I'm working hard and hopefully the results will come," Donald said. "I'm looking forward to winning every week I play. That's the goal. The longer you go the harder it gets but there's no reason why Luke Donald can't win this week."
Donald will be bolstered by positive memories of last year's tournament, which saw him surge through the field with a 65 on the final day, earning himself a share of third place.
Only two years ago Donald was seventh in the world and the highest-placed European on the list. Now he is 24th and has three other Englishmen - Paul Casey, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter - ahead of him as well as Garcia, Stenson Harrington, Robert Karlsson and McIlroy.
"I'd love to be top Brit," he confessed. "But you can't control what they are doing. You just control how you practise, how you prepare and I'm just looking for those results to emulate the hard work."
Donald believes he has benefited psychologically from last year's lay-off.
"It gave me some appreciation for the game," he said.
"It made me feel like I wasn't infallible and made me feel I could take a step back, look at what I needed to do to become better. I think I'm slowly getting there."
In the absence, of Harrington, Garcia and Poulter, their Ryder Cup team-mate Lee Westwood will be among the favourites to claim the 650,000-pound winner's cheque this weekend.
Harrington has opted for a week of practice including a first visit to Turnberry, where he will seek to win a third consecutive British Open in July.
But the field can boast both US Masters winner Angel Cabrera and Henrik Stenson, recent winner of the so-called fifth major, the Players Championship.
South African duo Retief Goosen and Ernie Els are also in action, along with Americans John Daly and Ben Curtis.

Wednesday, May 20th 2009

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