Donald still hopes to beat the curse

Luke Donald shot a 69 on Saturday that has kept him in striking distance of breaking the Augusta curse.

Luke Donald shot a 69 on Saturday that has kept him in striking distance of breaking the Augusta curse.

Four days after winning the eve-of-the-Masters Par Three competition, Donald will tee off in the final round as one of the front-runners in the chasing pack on seven-under par and is not without hope of becoming the first man to break the Augusta curse that says that no Par Three winner will ever go on to win the Masters in the same year.

“I’ve still got a great chance tomorrow, which is always the goal at majors,” said the 33-year-old Englishman.

Donald said he saw moving on from Wednesday’s victory to a Masters triumph as a challenge rather than a jinx.

Despite a bogey six after he fluffed his pitch at the 13th into the bank above Rae’s Creek, the World Match Play champion kept alive his hopes of not only a first major, but a win that would take him to world number one.

“I was able to put it behind me and birdie 14,” he added before being asked if he was keeping an eye on leaderboards.

“Yeah, they’re big and white and they’re everywhere! They’re hard to ignore.
“I would love to have snuck a couple more birdies, but that’s how it is. I’m in a good position.”

That is in contrast to last year’s runner-up Lee Westwood, who fell back to three under with a 74 containing three birdies, but also five bogeys.

Asked for his thoughts, the world number two responded: “I really don’t think I can give you my thoughts – I’ll turn into Wayne Rooney if I attempted to do that.
“Honestly, there is nothing I can really say.”

Fellow Englishman Ross Fisher remains in the hunt on five under after a five under 67 and says: “I didn’t feel like I played particularly well out there, but Wobbly (caddie Phil Morbey) said to me when we came off that I’d played great.
“Obviously I was watching something different, but it was difficult out there with the heat – difficult to keep yourself hydrated and make sure your hands weren’t slipping on the clubs with the sweat.
“So you had to stay patient and take a little bit of extra time and care. The leaders haven’t really gone too far away from me, so I feel pretty good going into tomorrow.
“You want to be aggressive round here, but it is that sort of golf course where if you are overly aggressive you can easily run up bogeys, double bogeys, treble bogeys.
“So I am just trying to stay patient and hitting one shot at a time. Hopefully Sunday can be the day where I can hole some of my putts.”