Donald interview after Round 2
Following his second-round 65, Luke Donald talks about his play in the 2012 Zurich Classic of New Orleans with Fred Albers from SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
AVONDALE, La. — Luke Donald played the way we’re accustomed to seeing him play in the second round of the Zurich Classic.
The Englishman put himself back in the hunt with a round of 65 that moved him to 6 under for the tournament. He was four strokes behind when he finished and six as the afternoon progressed — but there are two days to make up ground as Donald bids for his second win of the season.
Donald was aided by a sizzling stretch as he made the turn that saw the world No. 2 play four holes in 5 under. He used his vaunted wedge game to produce a 15-inch birdie putt at the 18th hole, holed a 7-iron from 150 yards for an eagle at the par-4 first hole, chipped in for another birdie at the second hole and holed a 9-footer to cap the spurt.
That was a far cry from Thursday when Donald, who tied for eighth here a year ago, shot 73 — and needed a birdie on his final hole to do that. Friday’s round marked just the third time he’d broken 70 in his last 10 rounds since he won that four-way playoff at the Transitions Championship.
"Obviously yesterday it was a little bit untidy with the few irons shots," Donald said. "I hit three balls in the water yesterday. Aside from the ball-striking, it wasn’t that different other than that little run, you know, a lot more encouraging. I felt like I’ve been very close the last few weeks. Nice to finally post a low number."
Donald has spent the past few days in New Orleans working with his college coach and swing guru, Pat Goss. The short game was their emphasis.
"I’ve not been tidy enough around the greens when I missed the greens," Donald said. "I haven’t made, I felt for me, enough putts when I had opportunities and just focused on that. That’s always the key to me playing well and scoring well."
Someone told Donald that with Rory McIlroy idle tis week he could regain the world No. 1 spot with a finish of solo seventh or better. "Is that what it is?" he said with genuine surprise. "That’s the first time I heard that."
In reality, though, world ranking points are not foremost on Donald’s agenda. Winning, on the other hand, is.
"It’s nice to post a low number and get back into the mix," he said.