Donald Tunes Up for Big One; Final-Round Seals a Scottish Crown for Englishman

The Journal (Newcastle, England), July 11, 2011 | Go to article overview

Donald Tunes Up for Big One; Final-Round Seals a Scottish Crown for Englishman


WORLD number one Luke Donald warmed up for The Open with his third win of the year yesterday - and what a win it was.

Donald shot the lowest round of his European Tour career, a sparkling nineunder-par 63, to take the Barclays Scottish Open by four shots at Castle Stuart near Inverness. Playing in the land of his father and marking the fact by wearing tartan trousers, the 33-year-old English star (pictured below) dominated the rainshortened event on the final day.

It was his second successive triumph in Europe and now he will try to put the icing on the cake - at Sandwich - by capturing his first major title next Sunday.

"It's nice to get another victory - I can get used to this," he said. "To do it on a links is even better and when I play well I tend to do reasonably well the next week.

"This was perfect preparation.

It doesn't get any better than going out and winning the week before. I'm going to be high on confidence."

After Saturday's washout cut the tournament from 72 to 54 holes, Donald first of all had to play half of his second round starting at 7am and did that in three under par to close the gap on the leaders from four to one.

Then he went out again after lunch and left the rest for dead, taking the pounds 500,000 first prize with a 19-under-par total of 197.

With Lee Westwood coming only joint 14th Donald also stretched his lead at the top of the rankings.

And it is such a gap that Rory McIlroy - next week's favourite following his amazing US Open win - cannot now go to number one even if he lands back-to-back majors.

Runner-up was Swede Fredrik Andersson Hed after he burst out of the pack with a best-of-the-week 62, while in a seven-way tie for third Scotland's Tour rookie Scott Jamieson was the happiest man. That was because a 10-foot birdie putt on the last gave him the one Open spot on offer, Colin Montgomerie having failed in his bid by slumping to 31st after an early burst had taken him into the joint lead. …

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