Luke Donald's Diary - 5/25/2010

by Luke Donald on May 25, 2010

I have to take all the positives out of the BMW PGA Championship. My short game was terrific, my bunker play at its highest level and I’ve moved up several notches in the race for an automatic Ryder Cup place.

Of course it’s disappointing, when you have a really good chance to win the European Tour’s flagship event and don’t quite pull it off. With two par fives to come and tied for the lead I fancied myself to do it. I tried to hit a little bit of a draw on 17 and just blocked it out and it cost me dearly. But you have to move on from that shot and learn from it.

One of the positives was that I didn’t play my best golf during the week but I was still contending strongly. I have to think what I can do when I’m really on my game.  I was very strong around the greens, did a lot of good scrambling and my putting was good.

You have to be good with your sand-irons and wedges with the changes that have gone on at Wentworth and be very creative around the greens. I was able to do that.

I’ve been very good with my MP T-Series 60 degree lob wedge and 54 degree sand iron . With the new tour conforming  Quad-Cut grooves  I haven’t found any disadvantage with the old non conforming groove. Mizuno have done such a good job with whatever technology they use, they’ve given me as much spin as I can use that is legal. I’ve had them grind them a little bit for me but they are pretty much standard and I can swap them every six weeks or so and have fresh grooves. That helps, too. I’m top in scrambling and top in sand-saves, so that speaks for itself.

It’s made up for a little bit of weakness in the other parts of my game. I’ve been trying to put on some strength in the gym so that I could do a lot of explosive stuff to find extra yards with my driving. You can do that with various exercises – medicine ball throws and things like that. It all relates to a little bit of increased speed in your swing. I’m definitely three or four mph faster and maybe five yards longer.

It’s good to be back in Madrid. It’s a great city. I’m staying with Sergio and one of his friends. Should be a fun week. Hopefully I’ll have another chance to win again.  Then next week it’s Celtic Manor. I played there a long while ago before the changes, so I’m looking forward to seeing the course, hopefully before being on the Ryder Cup team.

Di and Ellie are coming over next week, so I’m looking forward to having them with me in Wales.  I decided to play three events in Europe in a row to get some rhythm going. I still think my best chance of getting back in the Ryder Cup team is via the world points, though.  I’m now up to fifth on the world points table after the second place at Wentworth, just one spot from automatic qualifying for Monty’s team. The next few weeks, including the US Open at Pebble Beach, are going to be a pivotal part of making sure I play Celtic Manor twice this year.

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Author Luke Donald

An English native, Luke Donald is one of the world's top golfers. In addition to his top-10 world ranking, Luke has numerous wins on the PGA and European Tours, and played a key role as a member of the victorious European Ryder Cup teams in 2004, 2006, and 2010.