NORTON, Mass. – Luke Donald is playing to play more golf.
The former world No. 1 is looking to put a run of sluggish play behind him and earn back some of the elite status he’s losing. At No. 63 in the world rankings, he’s falling out of the window that exempts him into the Masters, the U.S. Open and The Open Championship, as well as some World Golf Championship events.
If Donald can get himself to the Tour Championship, reserved for the top 30 in FedEx points, he knows his playing opportunities will open wide. First, though, he needs to get himself to the BMW Championship next week at Conway Farms Golf Club outside Chicago. It’s a home course for him.
“A very familiar place for me,” Donald said. “It's a place I practiced and played a lot over the last 15 years. Actually, I talked to the Tour a little bit before they decided to go there. And I thought it was a good venue for the event. I'd love to get there. I obviously know the place well and feel like I have a slight advantage over the field.”
Donald is 87th on the FedEx Cup points list. He needs to move among the top 70 to earn a spot at the BMW Championship. He started the FedEx Cup playoffs at 119th in points. With a T-24 finish at The Barclays, he advanced to the Deutsche Bank Championship.
Donald reigned at world No. 1 for a combined 56 weeks over the 2011 and ’12 seasons. His longest run atop the rankings was 40 consecutive weeks. Donald said he got away from his strengths trying to get better with that ranking.
“After I got to No. 1, I probably tried to concentrate too much on my weaknesses, instead of maintaining my strengths, and went through some changes,” he said. “It didn't quite work out. Now I'm kind of back on a good path. Hopefully, I'm starting to see that with the consistency in my golf, starting to make some more putts and do the things that I know that brings success for me.”