Donald sees Akron as a PGA boost

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Luke Donald not only kept himself atop the World Ranking list at Firestone on Sunday, he boosted his PGA chances.

Luke Donald not only kept himself atop the World Ranking list at Firestone on Sunday, he also boosted his chances of a first major victory in this week’s US PGA Championship in Georgia.

He didn’t win his second World Golf Championship title of the year in the WGC-Bridgestine Invitational at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio, on Sunday.

An imperious Adam Scott, playing some of the best golf of his life, made sure of that, but the little Englishman did strengthen his chances of making a winning bid at this week’s US PGA Championship with a strong finish on Sunday.

The Englishman fired a closing four-under-par 66 to secure a tie for second place, four shots behind Scott, and, with it, gave notice that his astute iron play and solid putting will make him a serious threat this week.

Scott’s flawless 65 was the best round of the day, but Donald wasn’t very far behind with his 66, and he had every reason to describe his round as one of his best ever tournament displays from tee to green.

“It was a good week, a lot of positives out of this week,” the 33-year-old told the media after two birdies on the last three holes had hoisted him into a two-way tie for second with America’s up-and-coming Rickie Fowler with a 13-under total of 267.

“Three out of four days I really felt like I gave a lot away on the greens, but I had some good opportunities this week.

“It’s probably one of the best ball-striking weeks I’ve had for a while – just disappointing I didn’t make a couple more (putts) and give Scottie a good run.”

Donald, who clinched the biggest title of his career at the elite WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona in February, totalled 28 putts on Sunday after needing 31 and 30 in each of the first two rounds.

“I didn’t putt great the first two days, played very nicely yesterday and played very well today,” he said. “Again, I left a few opportunities out there on the greens. I missed a four-footer on 14 and another few short putts.

“If I got the putter rolling a little bit better, I would have given Adam a good run but he’s playing very well.”

With the final major of the year set to start on Thursday, Donald said he was not especially concerned with his form on the greens.

“I’ve always felt like I’m a good putter, and those things will come around,” he added. “I’ve just got to keep being patient and keep giving myself opportunities. That’s all I can do.”

The last four days at Firestone have featured heat and humidity, but Donald said he was expecting it to be much hotter at next week’s PGA Championship.

“This is nothing compared to what we’re going to get in Atlanta,” he grinned. “Hopefully I’ll be able to wear white every day, It’s going to be really hot and sticky. So get ready to sweat.”

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