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Donald dealing with major-less questions

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KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. – The world’s No. 1 player has never won a major championship, and anyone who closely follows the game knows it. But Luke Donald believes he experienced a breakthrough three weeks ago at Royal Lytham & St. Annes.

After a dreadful performance at the U.S. Open that resulted in a missed cut, Donald rebounded with a fifth-place tie at the British Open and says that mentally he’s where he needs to be to collect his first major title.

“Certainly I think there was a little bit of a breakthrough, just realizing at the Open Championship, that no matter how I’m hitting it physically, there’s always a way to mentally be on top,” said Donald, who shot a final-round 69 at Royal Lytham in difficult conditions.

Until he wins the elusive major, Donald will always have to face questions about respect. Last week at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational he was asked if he feels that he’s earned respect amongst his peers and the public.

“Amongst my peers, yeah, absolutely,” Donald said then, leading many to believe he doesn’t feel respected outside his fraternity.

Tuesday at Kiawah Island, Donald elaborated on his answer from a week ago.

“If I was to pick up a major, I think the popularity, and the facts that I would be a little bit better known would certainly increase,” he said. “In terms of preparation I feel like I’ve tried everything. In the end it just comes down to being able to perform during that week.”

A week that he hopes is this week.