Javier’s just like Seve – Donald

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Luke Donald praised the skills of Seve Ballesteros’s eldest son, Javier, after opening the defence of his Madrid Masters title.

Luke Donald praised the skills of Seve Ballesteros’s eldest son, Javier, after opening the defence of his Madrid Masters title with a 68 on Thursday.

The reigning World No 1’s four-under-par effort left him four shots behind first-round leader Ross McGowan of England, but afterwards Donald seemed to want to talk more about his Wednesday’s pro-am partnership with Javier, 21, than anything else.

“I was very impressed with Javier, he is so like his late father,” Donald told Reuters. “I guess the genes have been passed down.

“It felt like I was playing with Seve. Not that I ever had that pleasure, but I’ve watched Seve so much on TV. He has the same mannerisms.

“He (Javier) told me he had two or three years left studying law and then he might try and turn pro,” added the 33-year-old US-based Englishman.

If you take away two uncharacteristic blunders on Thursday, Donald could have been well-pleased with his opening round.

A misread of the distance cost him a bogey at his ninth hole, the 18th, when his three-iron approach fell short and plopped down in the lake and an inexplicably miss with a three-foot birdie putt cost him another shot at the 8th hole.

They were each unusual occurrences for one of the game’s most consistent ‘Steady Eddies’, but he remains in contention and is not likely to commit too many more of these blunders in a tournament he is hoping will advance his claim to becoming the game’s first winner of the season’s money list races on both sides of the ‘Big Pond’.

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