Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

British Duo Ready to Rumble

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

British Duo Ready to Rumble

Article excerpt

IF Luke Donald and Lee Westwood were boxers they would have started saying horrible things about each other by now and fight fans would be getting ready to rumble.

After all it's not every day England produces the world's number one and two golfers going head to head in the same group - along with the No 3, German Martin Kaymer - on the opening day of the US Open.

But that is not the way it is in golf. On the eve of the latest head-to-head duel between the pair - at Bethesda in New York - Westwood said: "It'll be a nice way to start off the tournament."

And Donald (right) added: "It will be fun for us and hopefully fun for the fans."

Not exactly fighting talk, but neither sees any mileage in trying to turn their clash at Congressional County Club into anything more than it is.

What they want is not bragging rights over the other, but a first major title. And if that means they end up in a shoot-out as they did at Wentworth three weeks ago, when Donald took the number one spot, then all well and good.

The BMW PGA Championship was 33-year-old Donald's second victory of a season in which he has now had an amazing 10 successive top 10 finishes. But in the majors he has gone 31 tournaments and counting without a win.

"This is the best I've been playing obviously," Donald said. "I've reached the pinnacle of the rankings and my play has been very consistent.

"I have a lot of confidence. There's going to be more expectation and that brings a little more pressure, but I've been trying to concentrate on doing the same things every week whether ranked number one or 50.

"This will be a tough challenge. In US Opens you always expect that, but I like the set-up."

Westwood, meanwhile, enters his 53rd major the month after playing at Close House hoping this is where all those near misses - three thirds and then last year two seconds - are put behind him.

Prior to Sunday's 11th place in Memphis, where he was the defending champion, his last three strokeplay finishes were first, first and second. …

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