Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'Seeing USA Win Was Agony, I Never Want to Do That Again'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'Seeing USA Win Was Agony, I Never Want to Do That Again'

Article excerpt

Byline: Matt Majendie

FOR Luke Donald, the Ryder Cup was agony. Having missed out for the second successive event, the 38-yearold, used to being a mainstay of the European charge, could only watch from the comfort of the sofa of his Florida home as events unfolded.

Resigned to tweeting impassioned support, he mused from "It's getting spicy" to trying to draw on the Miracle of Medinah with the words, "You've done it before, you can do it again! C'mon lads, believe and get stuck in".

From 2004 to 2012, Luke Donald boasted 101/2 points for Europe from a possible total of 15, a record of 70 per cent which is comfortably better than stalwarts such as Seve Ballesteros and Sir Nick Faldo. In fact, of the players to have played more than two Ryder Cups, only Ian Poulter boasts a better winning percentage.

But the dual agony of seeing his former team-mates lose the Ryder Cup and not being involved have added further motivation to raise his game.

Donald, who returns to action on Thursday after a four-week lay-off at the British Masters at The Grove, near Watford, told Standard Sport: "It definitely acts as a big spark of motivation.

"I was sat there thinking I never want to miss one of them and I need to make sure that's the case I never miss another one while I'm still playing. I was pretty close to being picked I was just on the cusp so in some ways it makes it that bit harder."

Donald knows he has danced around the cut too often this season he failed to make the weekend of the US Open, PGA Championship or Players Championship but showed a return to form as runner-up at August's Wyndham Championship.

It is a far cry from when he held the No1 spot in world for 40 weeks between May 2011 and March 2012 in a stunning period when he won five tournaments on the PGA and European Tours in the space of just 15 months.

Too laconic to seem unduly concerned about his game, he is adamant he is slowly clawing his way back to where he wants to be.

"My success has always been greatest when I've been strong on the greens and around the greens," said the world No69. …

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