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What they said: Luke Donald

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MORE INTERVIEWS:HSBC Champions transcripts archive

Q. 4?under, 68, how do you assess that?

LUKE DONALD:Yeah, good, solid start. Could have been even a shot or two better. I missed probably 3?putts inside seven feet but it was a solid round. I kept it in front of me. Kept it out of trouble. This course if you're a little bit off on certain holes, they are quite dangerous. Some of the greens are quite firm, making it a little bit tricky out there. But 4?under is a good start and a solid beginning to my tournament.

Q. Everybody's been saying the ball is running out there?

LUKE DONALD:On the greens, yeah. Pretty new greens, paspalum grass. It's a different grass than what we usually play, and obviously new greens are always a little bit firmer.

So yeah, it's a little bit of adjusting to what we usually play and it's a good way of separating the field I think. I think the scores are quite?? go from one extreme to the other.

I like it. I think you have to think your way around this place, and, yeah, it's a tricky putting surface. It's something we are not used to and it's a different kind of color than what we are used to.

So I struggled a little bit with a few short ones today, but other than that, it was pretty solid.

Q. A really strong finish last week, and your game, you must be confident with where it is?

LUKE DONALD:Again, I'm hitting it decent. It's not as solid as I'd like it to be. But I'm keeping the ball in front of me and I'm controlling it well enough. My short game is solid. I know how to score. I've certainly learnt that the last few years. My short game's been very tidy, and yeah, as I said, it's nothing spectacular, but I'm taking my opportunities when I get them.

Q. And still it's a good time to be playing well, isn't it?

LUKE DONALD:Well, this is a big event. Obviously a very strong field. Coming towards the end of the year, I'm looking forward to try to finish off as strong as I can. If I've got any chance of catching Rory, I know I have to win this week at the very least.

Q. How was today's performance for you?

LUKE DONALD:It was a solid score. It's nice to get off to a good start, solid start. You know, I left a couple putts out there, but other than that, you know, I took advantage of the opportunities I gave myself.

Q. What's your strategy in the last three days?

LUKE DONALD:Well, again, I try not to get ahead of myself. I'll take tomorrow, get on the first tee and try to play that hole as well as I can, and that will just continue for the next three days. I don't want to get ahead of myself. But I've been scoring very well for the last five rounds. I've posted under?par scores and just been making birdies when I had chances. That's very encouraging.

Q. What do you think of this course? There's lots of bunkers on this course.

LUKE DONALD:The bunkers, a little bit of water in play. The greens are tricky. They are pretty new greens, and they are pretty firm, which is always a challenge for us pros.

So I think that's why you see some low scores. There are opportunities because of the par 5s, but it's not that easy, either. There's some higher scores out there, as well. But happy with my round.

Q. McIlroy and Tiger is not here, and you are the highest?ranking player in this championship. So what do you think of your hopes to win this title?

LUKE DONALD:Well, I approach every event, no matter where I'm ranked, I want to give myself an opportunity to win on Sunday. I've certainly been playing nicely last week, and hopefully feeding off that. Today was another step towards putting myself in position for Sunday.

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