The Loop

Donald finding his groove in Europe

June 04, 2010

Luke Donald continued his hot play overseas with a 65 in the second round of the Wales Open to tie the course record at Celtic Manor, the site of this year's Ryder Cup.

Following his win at the Madrid Masters a week earlier, the 32-year-old Englishman managed just a 75 in the opening round. After his nine birdies Friday, it's safe to say that was just a minor hiccup.

What hadn't been minor, though, were the struggles he's had the past few years in closing out golf tournaments. While he's racked up enough strong finishes to remain high in the world ranking (currently No. 9), the victory was Donald's first since the 2006 Honda Classic and even more surprisingly, his first win on the European Tour in six years.

His latest stumble down the stretch came just the week before at the BMW PGA Championship. Tied for the lead in the final round, Donald double-bogeyed the 17th hole at Wentworth to finish runner-up yet again. After that tournament, Tim Rosaforte reported that Pat Goss, Donald's coach at Northwestern, described the 1999 NCAA champion as being in a state "beyond disappointment."

However, Goss also predicted a quick recovery for Donald, going as far as to say, "Before the year is over, he'll win on both tours."

Not a bad start.

-- Alex Myers