In a year where we’ve seen both Justin Rose and Adam Scott win their first major titles, it comes to no surprise that Luke Donald is feeling a bit of pressure to follow suit. The former World No. 1 stopped by the media center on Wednesday to answer questions about how he feels heading into the Open Championship at Muirfield:
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Women membership, now that Augusta has moved on it, what do you think about playing The Open at a single-sex golf club?
I think wherever the governing bodies decide to play a tournament, it’s my job to turn up and be ready and play, and that’s what I am going to. Going forward, we’d love to see these policies be a bit more inclusive. I think the R & A is certainly trending in the right direction. A good example of that being the Ladies Open being held in St. Andrews in a couple of weeks. Hopefully that trend will continue.
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Now that Justin (Rose) has won a major, and he’s of the same generation of yourself and Paul Casey, et cetera. How much of an inspiration or driving force is that going to be for you guys?
Well, I think it’s an inspiration in terms of just looking at Justin, just looking at Adam (Scott). They’ve had some similar career paths, up until they won a Major, to myself. I think having won a World Golf Championship and some tournaments, big tournaments around the world, but not quite having broken through. I feel like hopefully my turn’s coming. We’ve been on a similar path up until this year, and obviously they’ve stepped up a gear and I would love to follow in their footsteps.
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Phil Mickelson was in yesterday saying that Muirfield and Troon were the two courses on the rota where he felt his game was suited to winning. Where does Muirfield rank for you? Is this the course for you?
In terms of being a lot less quirky, yeah. As I said, it does tend to bring out pretty solid golfers as winners in the past, here. It’s guys that have a lot of control in their golf ball. You don’t get too many sort of unknowns or surprises that win it at Muirfield. Because of that I like that. I think it’s going to suit the players that have experience, that know how to play links, that are in control of their game and obviously the top players maybe have a little bit of an advantage.
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Apart from the not going in the rough, what’s the key thought around here this week?
Well, I think anytime you have a course that’s this firm and fiery, it’s really about controlling your ball and controlling the ball flight. Even though there wasn’t too much wind the last few days, there’s enough where if you get off line by a few yards, it can end up being off line by 15 or 20 yards, just because the ground is that firm. So again it’s really being specific with where you land the ball.
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You’ve tinkered with your golf swing a little bit this year. I’m wondering if you’re at the point where you’re not giving it a thought, you’re just hitting golf shots, or is still a little bit in the evolution?
It’s still a little bit in the evolution. And I think at times when I’ve struggled, I’ve been bogged down a little too much with some swing thoughts. I’ve seen a lot of progress even a couple of weeks ago in France. I hit a lot of very solid thoughts. I came undone on two or three holes that kind of ruined that week. But I hit a lot of very solid shots in control. And I’m seeing progress and seeing improvement and hopefully more of that this week.