Donald eyes home win
Englishman on Wentworth, more home events and slow play
Last Updated: May 21, 2012 5:34pm
Luke Donald: Took the title here 12 months ago
Luke Donald hopes to regain the world number one spot from Rory McIlroy when he defends his BMW PGA Championship crown at Wentworth this week.
"It's always nice to come back as defending champion. You always come back with great memories," said the Englishman on his return to the course where he defeated Lee Westwood in a play-off 12 months ago to both win the tournament and also go to world number one for the first time.
"Obviously last year was one of the highlights of my career. Coming down the stretch with Lee, going into a play-off with Lee and having the number one world ranking on the line... but also a huge event on the line too.
"I grew up just down the road, watching this event, came here as a young kid watching some of the guys playing around here so it's always meant so much to me and to win this one and get to number one was really special.
"I'm excited to be back and hopefully it'll be more of the same.
"Obviously I'm back in a similar position this year. I've held the number one spot for most of the time since I got it at Wentworth last year but I'm back to number two again, just slightly behind Rory, so I've got an opportunity to try and overtake him again."
The course has been tweaked again for this year's championship although Donald has yet to see the changes.
"I've just heard about it. My caddie walked around last week and had a couple of looks," said the world number two.
"I think they've turned 12 back into a par five and I know they've changed the tee-shot off 18 a little bit. They've taken the bunker off the right and flattened the fairway. They're trying to tempt us into hitting the driver off there and giving it a go and going for the green in two which I think is the right idea. That's much more exciting if you can go in there with a long iron and bring that water into play which is what they tried to do in the first place.
"I'm excited to see it and looking forward to being back and hopefully making some birdies on that 18th again."
"It's always meant so much to me and to win this and get to number one was really special."
Donald on last year's victory Quotes of the week
More tournaments on English soil
The Wentworth showpiece is one of just two events held on English soil this year, the other being the Open Championship at Royal Lytham.
Donald says now is the perfect time to change that for the better.
"Look at the strength of English golf and British golf in general. I think we need more tournaments here, we would love to welcome any sponsors to come.
"I've even had a few talks with Lee (Westwood) and Justin (Rose) and some of the other guys to somehow get an event so the British public and a lot of the juniors can come out and watch a bit more golf.
"Being a bit more exposed to it will increase the awareness of our game. And what better time to do it. We have the top three guys in their sport in the world rankings who are all from Britain and it would be a perfect opportunity to do something."
Donald has also been outspoken on the subject of slow play in recent weeks but does he think we're nearer to a solution to eradicating it from the pro game?
"I think it's good that some of the bigger names are talking up about it," said Donald, who is one of the quicker players around. "Tiger talked about it at The Players (Championship), you've heard some issues from Lee, myself obviously. Most of us really want the game quickened up a little bit.
"It's gotten to a pace where it's becoming less fun to watch on tv. We're the role models to set the example for the amateurs and we need to do a better job of doing that.
"Obviously the governing bodies need to maybe be a little bit more strict and start imposing some shot penalties, those sort of things that will start players going a little bit faster.
"It's a tough issue because I'm not sure if there's a correct way to tackle it. But certainly it's an issue that's been talked about a lot lately and hopefully that awareness of it will maybe enact some changes and hopefully we can get playing a little bit quicker."