2013 Has Been a Roller Coaster Year for Luke Donald

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2013 Has Been a Roller Coaster Year for Luke Donald

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Luke Donald remains optimistic about his game.

COMMENTARY | Luke Donald will miss the tournament cut at the 2013 BMA PGA Championship following a two-round total of 150 (6-over par) at Wentworth. In doing so, the former World Number One wrote another chapter in what has become a rollercoaster career.

In May 2011, PGA Tour and European Tour journeyman Luke Donald became the world's highest-ranked golfer after winning the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. He held on to that top spot for 40 weeks, the longest span by any golfer not named Tiger Woods in the last 15 years, before Rory McIlroy took his place atop the throne in March 2012.

Donald would regain his crown exactly one year later after successfully defending his title at the 2012 BMW PGA Championship. He held that ranking for an additional 10 weeks before once again bumped by McIlroy. Donald has yet to rebound.

Currently ranked No. 6 in the Official World Golf Rankings, Donald's performance has been inconsistent since his BMW victory in May 2012.

That is not to suggest Donald hasn't played well over the past year. On the European Tour, Donald has since managed third place finishes at the 2012 BMW Masters and 2012 DP World Tour Championship in Dubai. On the PGA Tour schedule, Donald again earned top-3 finishes at the 2012 Zurich Classic of New Orleans and the FedEx Cup TOUR Championship last September. He even scraped together a quiet tie for fourth place at the 2012 British Open.

His performance in 2013 shows similar results. Prior to the 2013 RBC Heritage in April - where he recorded yet another third place finish - Donald's finishes ranged everywhere from a tie for fourth place at the 2013 Tampa Bay Championship to a missed cut at the Euro Tour's Maybank Malaysian Open in March. This week's missed cut at Wentworth will be his second of the year overall.

What has been the cause of this uncharacteristic trend of inconsistency for the Englishman? According to Donald's remarks following Friday's second round, his golf game has become somewhat unreliable.

"When I missed fairways, I missed the green and then I wasn't getting up and down," he explained. "My problems were just kind of compounding."

"Not one part of my game is really firing at the moment," Donald admitted.

His playing statistics on either tour confirm that assessment. While his scoring average on the PGA Tour is still under par (70.006), his average on the Euro Tour has grown to 72.6, or no. 172 overall. In terms of driving accuracy, Donald hits only 52 percent of fairways on the Euro Tour (no. 198) and 63 percent in the States (no. 55). Greens in Regulation percentage is another weakness for Donald this season, hitting only 67 percent (no. 121) on the Euro Tour and 61 percent (no. 170) on the PGA Tour.

Still, Donald believes his game is salvageable.

"It's not like I am a million miles away," Donald said. "It's about doing the things Luke Donald usually does well: being tidy around the greens and making the putts when I need to.

"I've got to start there and work my way back. Sometimes it's just a little something small from my coach that will get me back on track. I'm not too worried."

Adam Fonseca has covered professional golf since 2005. His work can be found on numerous digital outlets including the Back9Network and SB Nation. He currently lives in Chicago with his wife. Follow Adam on Twitter @chicagoduffer.
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