Luke Donald throws out solid 1st pitch at Cubs game despite cricket roots

Luke Donald Cubs first pitch Lance Ringler/Golfweek

Luke Donald throws out solid 1st pitch at Cubs game despite cricket roots

Men

Luke Donald throws out solid 1st pitch at Cubs game despite cricket roots

The verdict on Luke Donald’s baseball skills: Not bad.

The Englishman was in Chicago on Thursday for a media event promoting the 2017 NCAA Division I Championship, which is set for later this month (the women will compete May 19-24 and the men May 26-31, with both championships at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill.).

After the regional fields for the men had been announced, Donald threw out the first pitch for Thursday’s Cubs-Phillies game.

But the idea of throwing a ball over the plate didn’t totally compute for Donald, considering he had become accustomed to seeing something different.

“(I) grew up playing cricket where you are supposed to bounce it,” Donald said.

No matter. You don’t get to World No. 1 – where Donald was for a total of 56 weeks in golf in 2011 and 2012 – without being able to adjust.

Donald, the 1999 NCAA individual champion, went to college at nearby Northwestern and has resided in Chicago for years, so he’s become accustomed to how it’s done in baseball. When it came time to throw out the pitch, Donald casually threw a solid one right over the plate.

The 39-year-old, who has dropped to No. 69 in the Official World Golf Ranking, may have looked calm but did admit he was feeling the nerves up there.

Donald said throwing out the first pitch doesn’t quite compare to the pressure of a Ryder Cup – he’s played in four to the tune of a 10-4-1 record – but it’s not far off.

“The Ryder Cup (is the) most pressure,” Donald said. “Throwing first pitch (is a) pretty close second.”

But as he’s proved often in his career, Donald isn’t fazed by pressure.

Latest

More Golfweek
Home