While the Englishman was the focus of Ryder Cup discussion at this point two years ago, his game has largely declined in the months since. The former world No. 1 entered this week’s event ranked 90th in the world, secure for the FedEx Cup Playoffs largely from his T-2 finish at the RBC Heritage which remains his lone worldwide top-10 finish since October.
But Donald has found a friendly layout in Sedgefield Country Club, where accuracy and precision are in high demand. He sparked his opening round with a hole-in-one, and after a third-round 64 he is tied for third, five shots behind leader Si Woo Kim.
“It’s been a slow, slow season for me. Obviously disappointing, not enough consistency,” Donald said. “Had some good patches around April, early May, but it hasn’t been as consistent as I would like to see in my game. But I’ve been working extremely hard on it, and it’s nice to see some form coming into play.”
Donald maintained a clean sheet Saturday, carding six birdies against no bogeys and will play alongside Jim Furyk in Sunday’s penultimate pairing. He knows that valuable points are up for grabs in the final round, points that could help push his postseason run beyond The Barclays, and while another Ryder Cup bid is unlikely he still has hopes of snagging his first PGA Tour win since 2012.
“It just takes one good week out here to really change a season around,” he said. “This is as good a time as ever to get going, especially with the playoffs just about to start.”