Completed: Kennemer G&CCSep 11-14

KLM Open

Scheduled: The Celtic Manor ResortSep 18-21

Wales Open

Luke Donald admits he headed into DP World Tour Championship in relaxed mood

Last Updated: 23/11/12 6:35am

  • Share:
Luke Donald: In a relaxed frame of mind in Dubai this year

Luke Donald: In a relaxed frame of mind in Dubai this year

Sky Bet

In stark contrast to last year, Luke Donald admitted he has been able to take a relaxed approach to this week's DP World Tour Championship.

Twelve months ago the Englishman headed to Dubai knowing he that he would need a top-nine finish to complete an historic money-list double should Rory McIlroy win the tournament.

In the event McIlroy finished in a tie for 11th as he failed to capitalise on a strong start, meaning Donald wrapped up the Race to Dubai crown with something to spare.

With McIlroy having already matched Donald's achievement by topping the money-list on both sides of the Atlantic this season, not so much is riding on the outcome of this year's tournament - a fact not lost on Donald after he posted an opening 65 to assume the early lead.

"I'm not sure I enjoyed it last year, it was quite pressure-packed even though I had a bit of a lead - I felt Rory's presence behind me," he told Sky Sports.

"This week it's a little bit more relaxed, I'm just playing to try and win this tournament. I guess that was my focus last year as well, but in the back of my mind I had a few other distractions."

Donald's flawless 65 featured seven birdies and he added: "I felt like I couldn't miss. I hit some really good irons shots too and it's fun when it seems that easy."

McIlroy on song again

McIlroy maintained his impeccable form this season to end the day just one stroke behind Donald after a back-nine charge.

Sky Bet Odds

Rory McIlroy to win the Dubai World Championship - 3/1. See all our latest golf betting here

"I made a couple of crucial up-and-downs which kept the round going and then I just holed a few putts on the back nine and got it together which was nice," stated the World No.1.

McIlroy acknowledged his prodigious length off the tee also helped at the Earth Course which measures in at nearly 7,700 yards.

"There's a few bunkers here at 300 (yards) in the middle of the fairway and I'm able to clear them which I feel gives me a big advantage on this golf course," he added.

"I think I drove the ball beautifully today with the exception of 18 and I feel if I can continue to drive it like that I'll have a good chance."

  • Share:


DP World Tour Championship 2012

Wilson: the Nottinghamshire swinger will not have full playing privileges in 2013

Drifting off course

Oliver Wilson and Camilo Villegas must graft hard to earn their Tour cards back, says Rob Lee.

Donald: the Englishman won three events in 2012

Two's not so blue

Rory McIlroy had a great season, says Rob Lee, but Luke Donald's campaign wasn't bad either.

McIlroy: dug deep to win in Dubai

Rory finds top gear

Paul McGinley says Rory McIlroy's Dubai win shows his career moved to a new level in 2012.

Most Popular


Wales Open guide

Wales Open guide

A preview and best bets for this week's European Tour event - the Wales Open at Celtic Manor.

European team profiles

European team profiles

A look at the 12 players who make up Paul McGinley's European Ryder Cup side for Gleneagles.

US team profiles

US team profiles

A look at the 12 players who make up Tom Watson's US Ryder Cup side for Gleneagles.