Category: Luke Donald

September 11, 2013

Donald: Sean Foley didn't have time to coach me

Posted at 12:29 PM by Scooby Axson


Luke Donald knew he had to make a change. 

After parting ways with Pat Goss, the man who had been his coach for over a decade, Donald sought help to get him back to the form that made him the world's No. 1 player in 2011. 

Before eventually choosing Chuck Cook, Donald talked to Sean Foley, who works with Hunter Mahan, Tiger Woods and Justin Rose. But Foley just didn't have the time, Donald said Tuesday at the BMW Championship.

"I talked to Sean briefly about the possibility of working together, just to get his thoughts, and he came back to me with a very honest answer, that he didn't think, considering what he had on his plate, that he could give me 100 percent of the commitment I needed. I work pretty hard, and I told him I wanted to work hard and I wanted to put in a lot of time, and he was worried that having a young family and all the responsibility that he has that he wouldn't be able to give me that 100 percent commitment, and I totally understand that." 

Donald said that Foley is the one who mentioned Cook as a possible coach and the two started working together at the PGA Championship.

Donald is 55th in the FedEx Cup Standings coming into this weekend's BMW Championship at Conway Farms GC, Lake Forest, Ill.

(Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

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March 19, 2013

Luke Donald doesn't miss the stress of No. 1 ranking

Posted at 12:18 PM by Coleman McDowell


Luke Donald's desire to be the world's best golfer hasn't changed. But he has enjoyed stepping out of the limelight as the first major of the year steadily approaches. 

Currently the world's No. 3 golfer, Donald was atop the rankings for 56 weeks during the 2011 and 2012 seasons. Donald held the No. 1 ranking entering last year's Masters and finished tied for 32nd.

"Naturally the whole point in being the best is to be number one, best player on the planet, and that is where I want to be too," Donald said.

"But having said that, I have to agree that there is a little less pressure in being the No. 3 going into the Masters."

Donald has three top-10 finishes in his eight overall starts at Augusta National. His best finish was in his first start, when he finished in a tie for third. At last week's Tampa Bay Championship, Donald claimed his first top-10 finish of the season with a tie for fourth.

"I am looking forward to [the Masters] and in recent weeks my game has come together well enough to give me confidence in doing well next month," he said.

Photo: Luke Donald tees off at the second round of the WGC-Cadillac (Credit: Fred Vuich)

March 11, 2013

Jordan asks McIlroy to be partner at Medalist member-guest

Posted at 6:11 PM by Coleman McDowell

Mj_300And you thought the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral had star power.

According to Golf World's Tim Rosaforte, Michael Jordan has asked Rory McIlroy to be his partner at the member-guest event Friday at Medalist Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Fla., where they'll be playing against Medalist member Tiger Woods and Ahmad Rashad.

It turns out that Jordan has become a valued mentor to PGA Tour pros who live in the Palm Beach, Fla. area, including Ernie Els, Keegan Bradley and Luke Donald. Jordan doesn't give advice about the proper arm slot on their takeaway or the right launch angle for their driver, but he helps his Tour player pals with the mental aspect of the sport.

"I'm not a golf coach, never will be, won't try to be," Jordan said.

Rosaforte shares several Jordan-esque stories like MJ jabbing Bradley over the amount of shots Bradley gives him during a round compared to Donald. Why does he get six from Donald and only five from Bradley? Because Donald's in the top 10, and Bradley isn't. Other anecdotes include Els working on a putting drill when Jordan bets him $100 he misses, and Donald talking about how Jordan has helped him become a tougher player.

"As friends we talk about things," Jordan said about the tour pros in his inner circle. "But I'm not looking for credit. I'm looking to help you out, wanting to make you the best you can be from a sports standpoint."

Photo: Michael Jordan at 2012 Ryder Cup (Getty Images).
February 18, 2013

They Said It! Butch on Tiger and Obama in Quotes of the Week

Posted at 5:03 PM by Mike Walker
Sergio_quote1. “I think obviously golf is great. We haven't really had anything going on. So we'll see, we started testing, what was it, 2008 I think, and nothing has really come around.”

--Sergio Garcia on performance enhancing drugs in golf




Brandtjobe_quote2.“Don't tell anybody, but we would jump the fence
and get in.”

--Brandt Jobe on watching Fred Couples win the LA Open at Riviera when he was at UCLA




Ernieels_quote3. “There's no data that really confirms that they have to ban it."

--Ernie Els on the USGA and R&A’s proposed ban on anchored putting




Fredcouples_quote4. “If I'm playing well, I can walk around this course and feel like I'm going to shoot par or very close to it every single time.”

--Fred Couples on playing at Riviera, where he’s won twice




Lukedonald_quote5. “I usually give him six a side and that's usually not enough for him.”

--Luke Donald on playing golf with Michael Jordan 





Doak_quote6. "I believe there's a wisdom within The Old Course that goes beyond what anyone today understands about golf course architecture."

--Golf-course architect Tom Doak on the R&A’s changes to the Old Course



Rayfloyd_quote7. “There are guys in there that it's a joke. It takes integrity away from the term 'Hall of Fame.' I'm very upset at the Hall of Fame.”

--Raymond Floyd to Golf Magazine after announcement that Fred Couples and Colin Montgomerie would be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame


Butchharmon_quote8. "The President said to Tiger: `The last tournament you played was fun to watch. It's good to see you play well again.' You could tell he meant it. It just wasn't a throw it out compliment."

--Butch Harmon on watching President Obama and Tiger Woods play golf together


Stevie_williams_quote9. “To be that good, that young, and that composed at that age is just incredible."

--Caddie Stevie Williams on fellow New Zealander Lydia Ko




Charliebeljan_quote10. “Thursday and Friday for me suck. I think they are boring. I don't enjoy them. Saturday and Sunday, that's what we wheel and deal.”

--Charlie Beljan on being in the hunt at Riviera on Sunday

February 14, 2013

Luke Donald picks Michael Jordan's brain -- and pocket

Posted at 4:25 PM by Samantha Glover

MjAs he strives to regain the title of World No. 1, Luke Donald has enlisted the help of Michael Jordan, according to a report by the Telegraph's James Corrigan.

“He’s good for the mind,” Donald said. “He’s been making sure that I’m ready mentally. It’s been good to pick Michael’s brains and find out what he was thinking about when he was playing basketball. He’s always trying to play mind games. He doesn’t like to lose.”

Since meeting at The Bears Club, Jack Nicklaus's Jupiter, Fla., course, the two have become friends, spending time on the course together.

“Michael’s a really nice chap who I’ve got to know really well recently,” Donald told Telegraph Sport. “His fiancée [Yvette Prieto] is good friends with my wife [Diane] and we’ve begun to play a lot together. I’m always happy to empty his wallet.”

After recording four victories in 2011 and spending much of the year ranked No. 1, Donald has dropped to No. 3 in the Official Golf Rankings behind Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy.

Photo: Michael Jordan at the Hooptee Celebrity Golf Classic at the Golf Club at Ballantyne in Charlotte, N.C. (Getty Images).
January 23, 2013

Luke Donald sticks with Mizuno clubs, says McIlroy will be fine

Posted at 11:45 AM by Mike Walker

LukedonaldLuke Donald at the BMW Masters golf tournament in Shanghai in October 2012 (Getty Images).

Luke Donald didn't announce his contract extension with his longtime sponsor Mizuno at an international media conference or by filming a funny commercial with fellow Mizuno man Charles Howell III. He did it in a quiet telephone call from Florida, where he's preparing for his 13th season on the PGA Tour.

"I like to stick to what I know," Donald said of his contract extension, of which Mizuno would not disclose the financial details or length. "I've been with them for 10 years, and I've never been one to tinker."

Mizuno has a "family atmosphere," Donald said, and he likes the special attention he gets at the equipment truck when he needs to re-grip his clubs or change his lofts. Other companies have to take care of dozens of players. Still, Donald tested the waters with other equipment companies before deciding to stay at Mizuno, which he's been playing since his college days at Northwestern.

One of the main sticking points for Donald is that he didn't want a deal that forced him to play all 14 clubs from a single manufacturer.

"I would find it hard -- unless [the contract] was substantial -- to play all 14 clubs," Donald said. "I would be lying if I said I didn't try other equipment, but I'm still very uncomfortable committing to play all 14 clubs. I like to have flexibility with the driver and the putter."

Donald said he plays 11 Mizuno clubs -- all his irons and wedges -- and he plays a TaylorMade Rocketbalz driver and an Odyssey White Hot Tour XG putter. Although equipment companies and players treat the details of endorsement contracts like nuclear secrets, megadeals like Rory McIlroy's new Nike contract generally require the golfer to play all of the company's clubs with some exceptions. For example, McIlroy switched back to his Scotty Cameron putter in Abu Dhabi after playing the first round with his Nike Method putter, and Tiger Woods has gone back and forth with putters while playing all Nike clubs.

Having spent more than a year -- 55 weeks -- as the No. 1 player in the last two years, Donald is now ranked third behind No. 2 Woods and No. 1 McIlroy. However, Donald didn't admit to any schadenfreunde watching McIlroy miss the cut in Abu Dhabi while playing Nike gear for the first time, nor does he think his Ryder Cup teammate will stay down for long.

"Given his talent, he's not going to struggle," Donald said of McIlroy. "I would not place the blame on the equipment. That's a tricky golf course to start your season on. He'll adjust to that."

Despite their closeness in world-ranking points, Donald is aware that McIlroy and Woods's star power far eclipses his own, and he's fine with that.

"Players like Rory and Tiger come around once in a lifetime," Donald said. "They have that 'wow' factor and they have so many fans following them. I'm a different type of payer, and I certainly understand the frenzy around them."

For Donald, the 2013 season isn't about adjustments. His only focus, he said, is "winning and winning majors," and his mind is already on April. Many see the Masters as Donald's best chance to win his first major due to his otherworldly talent on the greens. (In 2011, Donald had a streak of 434 holes without a three-putt.) Asked when he'll start preparing for the Masters, Donald responded, "I start now."

January 08, 2013

SI Golf Ranking: McIlroy starts year as unanimous No. 1

Posted at 12:19 PM by

Each week, 13 staffers from SI Golf+, Golf Magazine and  SI-Golf-RANKINGvote for  their top 10, awarding 10 points to their first choice and proceeding in descending order to the 10th player, who gets one point. The points are then added and the ranking calculated. This ranking aims to be an of-the-moment measure of who’s playing the best right now. Tell us your top 10 in the comments field below.


1. Rory McIlroy (130, 13, 1) - Last three finishes: 1, DP World Tour Championship; MC, UBS Hong Kong Open; 3, Barclays Singapore Open
-Official World Golf Ranking: 1

2. Tiger Woods (106, 0, 2) - Last three finishes: T4, World Challenge; T4, CIMB Classic; Semi-Finalist, Turkish Airlines World Golf Final
- Official World Golf Ranking: 3

3. Keegan Bradley (63, 0, 5) - Last three finishes: 2, World Challenge; 23, WGC-HSBC Championship; 3-1-0, Ryder Cup
- Official World Golf Ranking: 13

4. Jason Dufner (62, 0, 3) - Last three finishes: T15, World Challenge; T2, WGC-HSBC Champions; 2, Perth International
- Official World Golf Ranking: 9

5. Ian Poulter (58, 1, 4) - Last three finishes: 17, World Challenge; T26, DP World Tour Championship; 2, Talisker Masters
- Official World Golf Ranking: 12

6. Luke Donald (54, 0, 6) - Last three finishes: T3, DP World Tour Championship; 1, Dunlop Phoenix; T18, WGC-HSBC Championship
- Official World Golf Ranking : 2

T7. Justin Rose (32, 0, T10) - Last three finishes: 11, Nedbank Golf Challenge; 2, DP World Tour Championship; T24, WGC-HSBC Championship
- Official World Golf Ranking : 4

T7. Charl Schwartzel (32, 0, NR) - Last three finishes: 1, Alfred Dunhill Championship; 1, Thailand Golf Champions; 3, DP World Tour Championship
- Official World Golf Ranking: 14

9. Brandt Snedeker (28, 0, 8) - Last three finishes: T13, World Challenge; T11, WGC-HSBC Championship; 1-2-0, Ryder Cup
- Official World Golf Ranking: 10

10. Bubba Watson (24, 0, NR) - Last three finishes: 9, World Challenge; 33, WGC-HSBC Championship; 3, PGA Grand Slam of Golf
- Official World Golf Ranking : 8

Others receiving votes:
Phil Mickelson (23)
Graeme McDowell (21)
Dustin Johnson (20)
Lee Westwood (13)
Louis Oosthuizen (12)
Adam Scott (12)
Webb Simpson (8)
Bo Van Pelt (8)
Sergio Garcia (5)
Ernie Els (3)
Martin Kaymer (1)

November 27, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Donald saw echoes of Tiger in McIlroy's Dubai win

Posted at 2:59 PM by Samantha Glover

Rory_lukeLuke Donald and Rory McIlroy at the DP World Tour Championship on Sunday. (Getty Images)

After losing to Rory McIlroy in the final round of the DP World Tour Championship, Luke Donald said that McIlroy's performance reminded him of Tiger Woods in his prime, according to an ESPN report.

McIlroy, who began the day tied for the lead with Donald and then trailed Justin Rose on the back nine, made birdies in his final five holes to secure a victory.

Rose, who shot a course-record 62 on Sunday, was magnanimous in defeat. "I thought I had him, but he's class," admitted the Englishman.

Donald, who faded for a share of third with Charl Schwartzel, went even further. "That was like Tiger Woods in his prime," said the world No. 2. "To able to do that when needed, that is the sign of a great. "It was extremely impressive and it shows us all how hard we will have to work to stay up with him."

McIlroy's win at Dubai was his fifth of the season, including the PGA Championship. He has won the PGA of America's Player of the Year award and the Vardon Trophy for lowest scoring average, and he's expected to be named the PGA Tour Player of the Year later this month.

November 20, 2012

Tiger Woods loses No. 2 spot in rankings to Luke Donald

Posted at 12:18 PM by Mark Dee

Tiger_luke_abudhabi_2012Luke Donald has caught Tiger by the toe. With his win last week in Japan, the Brit narrowly surpassed Woods to claim the No. 2 spot in the official World Golf Rankings, which were updated on Monday.

Donald's average points -- the metric used by the rankings -- jumped to 9.06 after the win, whereas the inactive Woods fell to 9.00. Donald has a chance to up his lead, too: He'll play in the European Tour's season ending DP World Championship in Dubai this week, while Tiger is off until next week's World Challenge.

Both men trail Rory McIlroy by a sizeable margin -- McIlroy has 12.59 points -- but Donald and Woods are safely locked at 2-3 for the foreseeable future. Lee Westwood, the current No. 4, is well behind at 6.60 points.

Woods, McIlroy, Donald and Westwood have all spend time atop the world rankings. Donald held the No. 1 ranking for much of 2011, and traded the top spot with McIlroy for much of 2012 until McIlroy seized the ranking in August with his strong late-season play. Woods famously held the No. 1 ranking for a record 281 consecutive weeks (and 623 total weeks), but he has not been ranked No. 1 since Oct. 30, 2010, when Westwood overtook him.

For a full look at the World Rankings, follow the link.

[Photo: Tiger Woods and Luke Donald at the 2012 Abu Dhabi Championship in January 2012. Getty Images]

October 29, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Child's health to keep Donald from defending Disney title

Posted at 2:12 PM by Mark Dee

Luke Donald won't be at Disney next month to defend his title at the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic. The reason? He has to take his own child to the hospital, according to

“I’m very sorry that I will be unable to defend my title at this year’s Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic as that tournament was an important highlight for me in 2011,” Donald said Monday in a release. “My career as a golfer places many demands on my schedule, and I’m often forced to miss some precious time with my family as I travel to play around the world, but in this case, home is where I have to be. I wanted to be able to express my appreciation for everything that Children’s Miracle Network means to us and am happy to be able to support their work. I wish them a very successful tournament next month.”

In lieu of his appearance, Donald made a donation to Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, a Children’s Miracle Network hospital.

Best of luck to Donald and his family. The season-ending tournament will be played from Nov. 8-11. We look forward to seeing Donald and his family on tour next year.

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