Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Donald Drives for Dunhill Glory as Ferrie Stays in Touch; Golf

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Donald Drives for Dunhill Glory as Ferrie Stays in Touch; Golf

Article excerpt

LUKE Donald gave himself the chance to end three-and-a-half years without a win by matching the lowest round of his European Tour career in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

Donald followed a 65 at St Andrews with an eight-under-par 64 at Kingsbarns and heads back to the home of golf with a one-stroke lead over Rory McIlroy and Simon Dyson.

Ashington's Kenneth Ferrie is still in the hunt at 12 under, only two shots off the lead, with Penrith's Gary Lockerbie nine under. The tournament, which has a first prize of more than pounds 485,000, goes into an extra day because no play was possible on Saturday in the gale-force winds.

Donald, just inside the top 100 after his opening 72 at Carnoustie, has a Scottish father and donned a pair of Tartan trousers for the day.

"I'm glad I played well because you have to when you wear something this outrageous," said the 29-year-old. "I thought five or six birdies would be good but I went a few better."

He had nine in all and was particularly pleased with those on the 16th and 17th. He had gone in the water to bogey the short 15th but pitched to eight feet on the next and then, despite his drive finishing in a divot, hit a seven iron to 12 feet.

His last victory was the Honda Classic in Florida in March 2006 and his last success in Europe came more than five years ago.

An American journalist coined the phrase "Luke Donald Disease'' this July, claiming that "most top British players'' were sufferers and he just happened to be the best example of a get-rich-quick golfer lacking the drive to fulfil his potential. Not surprisingly, it did not go down well with Donald, his family or his fans.

"I don't think I've ever met the guy," commented Donald. "If I did I would say I didn't really appreciate it and that I felt it was extremely off the mark. It was slightly hurtful. …

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