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Donald Wins in Europe; Reclaims Top Spot in Rankings
Luke Donald successfully defended his title in the BMW PGA Championship, closing with a 4-under 68 at Wentworth Club in England for a four-stroke victory over fellow Englishman Justin Rose (70) and Scotland's Paul Lawrie (66).
Donald finished at 15-under 273 for his seventh title on the European Tour.
With the win Donald reassumed the No. 1 spot in the World Golf Ranking, taking over for Rory McIlroy. The change in leaders is the sixth time the two players have swapped places this year.
"Obviously, this is our biggest event on the European Tour," Donald said. "To come here and defend, and get back to No. 1 as a side-note, is very sweet indeed.
"To come and defend and get back to number one is very sweet indeed." he added. "I was just trying to keep my head down and plug away. I was swinging well and I've putted well all week."
For complete scoring, visit http://www.europeantour.com/europeantour/season=2012/tournamentid=2012034/leaderboard/index.html?showLeaderboard=Y.
Q. Watching you earlier and in general watching you, hard to tell sometimes whether you've had a bogey or a birdie; is that part of what you work with Dave Alred to sort of have a neutral kind of emotion? But inside, are you feeling the ups and downs?
LUKE DONALD: Yes, I think I've always kind of come across that way, even before I worked with Dave. But we certainly - he certainly is always on at me again, as we talked yesterday, about keeping the shoulders back and being - not getting down on myself, staying positive, and not just through mentally, but through physically and your body position. So I think I've done a lot better job of it since I've been working with Dave. He's always reminding me. But certainly there are up and downs, like anyone. You would be like if you said, if you didn't feel the pressure and you didn't feel some doubt over some shots, but you try and stand over it, and when it's time to pull the trigger, be committed about the shot.
Q. We used to say that maybe 12, 18 months ago you could walk down the street and not many people would have recognized you. Do you think what you've done in those 12 or 18 months has probably changed that?
LUKE DONALD: Somewhat. You know, certainly my life has not changed a great deal. I mean, it's a great indication that I'm obviously well liked, and big thank you to the crowds that have come in to support me these last four days. I had a great following every day. I think I'm being a lot more well known over here, even though I spend a lot of time in the U.S. And in terms of going out, outside golf, though, it's still not a hassle. I do get recognized, but it's not a big deal.
Q. When you win a tournament like that, do you feel like the best player in the world?
LUKE DONALD: Well, I feel that when I'm playing well, I'm hard to beat. I think, you know, could be 20, 25 guys who would say that; when they are on their game, any given week, that they are going to be tough to beat. I feel like I'm part of that group.
Q. Giving that aura off, especially down the stretch, you said you've been working on that, and it's showing?
LUKE DONALD: It's really showing in my golf, and not just in terms of body positions and all that. But you know, as I said, I was proud of the drives I hit; 12, I hit in the bunker but I thought I hit a good tee shot there actually. I'm not sure if it bounced right. Ripped one on 13. Hit a great drive on 15. 16 right down and 17, as well. In previous years, the tee shot on 17 really cost me two years ago and I made double bogey there and lost the tournament. So I'm improving.
Q. Just looking forward a bit, you finished first, joint second are Justin and Paul Lawrie. If we can carry on that way, that's a great core for The Ryder Cup looking forward.
LUKE DONALD: Well, I think it's shaping up nicely, our team. The U.S. guys are playing well, too. But you know, Justin is a solid player. I don't have any doubt that he'll be on the team, and Paul has been playing great, too. I think it's going to be a tough battle, as it always is. But we're going to have - I think Ollie is going to have the satisfaction of having a lot of people in form to pick from, and that's always a good thing.
Q. And having played with him over three of the four days, would you be keen maybe to have him as a partner?
LUKE DONALD: I think we would make a good partnership, whether four ball or foursomes. Justin has the game to win a U.S. Open for sure. He hits it very good off the tees and a similar kind of game to Lee. He strikes it solid, doesn't make a lot of mistakes. I'm sure he's working on just getting a little bit better on the greens, but you know, he's certainly making big strides in that area, too. I see a lot of great things coming from Justin.
Q. Justin said afterwards that it was very hard to play against somebody who putts with such authority. I just wondered, do you think you're starting to get that aura that world No. 1s in the past have had, or do you see a difference in the body language of the people that you're playing against, or in their attitudes?
LUKE DONALD: Well, personally, I just feel like it's helped me. It's helped me to really be aware of my posture and how I outwardly project that feeling of positiveness, I suppose. It helps me, and you know, obviously sends a message to whoever I'm playing with. But you know, it helps, it helps to feel very confident on the greens, too. It's always been a strength of mine, especially in the last four or five years, and it's a big, big weapon in my arsenal.
Q. I think I heard you say in the television interview immediately afterwards was "winning majors," plural. Is that a definite thing? Mickelson changed from winning 'a major' to winning, 'majors.'
LUKE DONALD: Well, I certainly think I have the ability. It's putting four rounds together like I did this week. But I would love to win more than one major, yeah.
Q. That's not a change of mind set just now to try to get over the hurdle?
LUKE DONALD: I don't think so. Obviously winning one major would satisfy some of my critics. But personally, you know, the goal is to win more than one. I feel like I have that ability, and hopefully that will happen.
MODERATOR: Congratulations again, Luke. The media will be delighted to learn that Luke has also bought you some champagne in addition to the wine he donated earlier in the week. Thanks very much.
The transcript for the above interview is courtesy of ASAP Sports.
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