Luke Donald Friday (Second Round)
June 14, 2013
A FLASH Interview With:
Q. How has this golf course changed from yesterday and then how much tougher is it going to get the next couple of days?
LUKE DONALD: It hasn't changed a whole lot. The wind direction is different, which makes some holes harder, some holes a little easier. I think it balances itself out.
But U.S. Opens get harder as the week goes on. The pins today were a lot more tucked. They were tougher to get to. A few were on little hills or slopes. It's very difficult to make those putts when the ball is breaking so much.
Q. When you had that rough stretch of bogeys, how did you tell yourself to get back on track?
LUKE DONALD: Those were the par 5s, which I didn't play very well. The other bogeys I didn't feel like I made too many mistakes, it's just a difficult golf course, just a slight pull on 5.
The putt on 6 and 7, I thought I made both of those. And again, those pins have been tricky. The greens have been tricky to read all week. They seem to be breaking a little bit more than I'm seeing, hence a couple of lip outs.
But you try not to panic in U.S. Opens; you try to take each hole as it comes. It was nice to make a birdie on 9.
Q. That par and you're in it?
LUKE DONALD: Yeah, I think I made nine birdies over the last couple of days. I've certainly played the par 3s very well. I think I made four or five 2s out there, it's obviously been a big key to my score.
You're going to make mistakes; I need to try to minimize those mistakes over the next couple of days.
LUKE DONALD: Maybe a shot or two harder. I certainly didn't think 15 under was going to win because it was soft. This is a tough course and it's obviously showing that you don't need a course to be ultra long to make it difficult.
Q. What about the rough? I mean, there's U.S. Open rough, and there seems to be something a little bit beyond that?
LUKE DONALD: It seems the same kind of rough every year to me. I haven't noticed a difference.
Q. When you had your picture taken with David Graham, did you talk at all about the course or his
LUKE DONALD: I asked him what's the secret. And he said keep it in the short stuff. Nothing obviously I think most of us know that and it's about doing it.
Q. That flop shot you hit after the poor pitching wedge over the green and then you made that?
LUKE DONALD: Yeah, that's obviously gained a couple of shots. I fortunately got a good lie, but even if that didn't hit the hole that was going 10, 12 feet by. And that green is just so severe from back to front and I made the mistake and got fortunate. But you need stuff like that to happen to get in position.
Q. Did you feel the course changed a lot as the day progressed? Did you find it getting faster and firmer?
LUKE DONALD: No, the greens were still very soft. I backed it up about 15 feet on the last on the 10, my last hole, and they're still very soft. But the pin locations were certainly tougher today.
Q. I think it was on No. 4 you had that pitch that you were trying to get on the green and it ended up on the bunker?
LUKE DONALD: The ball was sitting up a little bit, almost too much. I'm so used to having to dig down and get those. I probably caught it too much off the top of the club. I was trying to get that one to pitch about six yards over the bunker and run it back there and just caught it too much on the top of the club.
Q. With that bad stretch of bogeys, are you okay with the position you're in right now?
LUKE DONALD: I would love to be a couple better, but certainly I think come the end of Round 2, I'm going to be in a good place.
Q. If you had to use one word to describe your round today, what would it be?
LUKE DONALD: Up and down.
Q. Everyone talks about 14 to 18 being such a tough stretch. But talk about 4 to 6, that seems to be eating up a lot of players, as well?
LUKE DONALD: It is. It's such a premium hitting in the fairways on those holes. Even once you're in the fairway, I hit a decent drive on 6 and still had 233 yards or something to the hole. It was a good 2 iron and hit it right at it and came up a couple feet short and caught that slope and three putted. It's just a good test out there.
5 is going to probably play, if not the hardest hole, second hardest, I bet, for the week.
4 is, again, a big premium on hitting in the fairway. When you get to the green, that green is very slopey.
Q. You hit a couple of shots in there where you had 240 plus, like on No. 18. I was surprised you hit iron as opposed to hybrid. Do you know how much you had on 18?
LUKE DONALD: I only have a 3 iron and a 2 iron, they're sort of fly highs. I don't have a hybrid in the bag this week. There's a lot of 2 and 3 irons off the tees, and I have a little bit more control with that club. 3 wood was too much and certainly the shot on 18, I just held up too much and it came up short. But hit probably one of the best up and downs I got all day right there.
Q. That was a 2 iron on 18?
LUKE DONALD: 2 iron, yeah.
Q. What kind of number do you think the winner is going to have here?
LUKE DONALD: I'd take a couple under right now.
Q. You said before, before the tournament started, the possible (inaudible) would bring more players into contention, do you still think that's the case or do you think Merion is holding its own?
LUKE DONALD: I think Merion is holding its own, for sure. I just feel like when you have wet conditions, the fairways become that much wider, the greens become wider, too. I just think it's going to help someone a little bit more because it's wet. But obviously the scoring probably is not showing that right now, but we'll have to see come the weekend.
Q. Any effect on you playing in the morning, those few extra holes, wear down towards the end, anything along those lines?
LUKE DONALD: No. I felt good energy wise. I think, to be honest, we have the best side of the draw, this side. I had to play 23 holes today, but I'm done now. Some of the other guys are going to have to get up early again tomorrow and finish. And then I think that's more disruption than what we had on our side of the wave.
Q. It's been a while since an English man won this championship, how do you feel being the flag barrier going into the weekend?
LUKE DONALD: I'm not sure who to look at, here (laughter), but I'm excited to be in contention, and have a chance.
Obviously I haven't played very well, but when I saw this place last week, I thought it was a good fit for my game. And obviously it's nice to come here and feel like I'm swinging pretty well and I've got a chance. So hopefully I can throw a good one in tomorrow and really be in the mix come Sunday.
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