Donald hoping for some 'hometown' support

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MEDINAH, Ill. – England’s Luke Donald may be more at home in the Chicago area than any American player in the Ryder Cup.

Donald thinks so.

He lives in Chicago, on the North side, and he’s a Cubs fan. Donald, 34, played collegiately at Northwestern and stayed here, marrying a Chicago girl. He has lived in this area almost as long as he lived in England.

If not for the not-so small fact that he will play for Europe in this week’s Ryder Cup at Medinah, Donald might enjoy being the hometown favorite.

“It’s a unique situation for me,” Donald said. “I’ll be the only guy on both teams that is more familiar with this town than probably anyone. Hopefully, I can garner a little support from the crowd because of that and turn that into a slight advantage for Team Europe, but it is a unique experience for me.”

Donald feels like a Chicagoan, but . . .

“I always consider myself British through and through. I’ve obviously reaped the benefits of going through the college system over here, really helped me with my golf, and I feel very comfortable here, but I don’t think that changes how you feel about where you grew up. I grew up my first 19 years in England and still have a very close relationship with that country, with my country. I still have a lot of family there, and I visit there regularly.

“I wouldn’t say I consider myself American. I’ve tried to stay true to where I was brought up.”

Though he also has a winter home in Jupiter, Fla., Donald says Chicago always draws him back.

“I feel like the people are very welcoming and friendly,” Donald said. “I just love the culture of Chicago. It’s a sporting town as well, which appeals to me . . . Great restaurants, great museums. Obviously, I met my wife here. My coach lives here. I have a good, firm base of friends and family that live here, and it just feels very comfortable.”