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Donald relieved to not deal with stress of No. 1

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PALM HARBOR, Fla. – It was around this time last year that Luke Donald was on top of the world – literally.

When Donald won the 2012 Tampa Bay Championship on the first extra hole in a four-way playoff, he regained his world No. 1 status after having lost it to Rory McIlroy two weeks prior.

Donald – now No. 3 behind McIlroy and Tiger Woods, respectively – may not be the game’s best at the moment, but he’s in a much better spot heading into the majors.


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“Yeah, I do (have less stress),” Donald said. “I think there are less people looking at me and less media attention and more on Rory and Tiger. I feel like I can kind of go about my business a little bit more.”

Donald was the No. 1 player in advance of each of the four majors last year and finished T-32 at The Masters, missed the cut at the U.S. Open, T-5 at the Open Championship and T-32 at the PGA Championship.

“It's always tough. I think everyone's looking up to the guy at No. 1. They expect results.  I expect results out of myself, too. You just feel like you need to perform and I think it's just a little added pressure that you put on yourself. “