Another close call for Donald (T-2) at RBC Heritage


Another year, another close call for Luke Donald at the RBC Heritage.

Donald began the final round with a one-shot lead, but after an even-par 71 he finished in a tie for second, two shots behind Branden Grace. It marks his sixth finish of T-3 or better at Harbour Town since 2009 - an impressive run of consistency that has yet to produce a victory.

After a slow start, Donald regained the lead with a birdie on No. 9, but he followed with a bogey on No. 10 and failed to make a single back-nine birdie as Grace rallied to victory with a closing 66.

"I played OK today, I just had a couple shots that just wouldn't quite go in," Donald said. "I was expecting someone to play well, and it was a great round from Branden."

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Donald has struggled mightily with his game in recent months, and he entered this week's event ranked No. 95 in the world. His best prior result this season was a T-22 finish in Tampa, and Donald said he'll take plenty of positives from a solid week in Hilton Head.

"This is a great step in the right direction," he said. "I'm really positive about my game going forward, positive about the way I handled it today. I didn't quite get it done, but I'm excited about playing next week."

Still, the runner-up finish means Donald's victory drought on the PGA Tour continues, as the Englishman hasn't lifted a trophy since the 2012 Valspar Championship. Each of his last three 54-hole leads have come at Harbour Town, and each time he has left with a runner-up finish on a course that tends to favor come-from-behind winners.

"I think I've got to put myself three or four behind on Sunday," he said. "Leading doesn't seem to be working out for me."