LYTHAM ST. ANNES, England – For an Englishman playing an Open Championship in England the pressure can be as relentless as a cold, steady rain marching across Royal Lytham & St. Annes. For Luke Donald, who also happens to be the top-ranked player in the Official World Golf Ranking and still in search of his first Grand Slam title, it can be suffocating.
“I just have been getting a little bit too uptight and anxious,” Donald said on Tuesday at Lytham. “It’s a normal mode to switch into because the pressure is that much more.”
And for Donald the pressure doesn’t stop at his passport. He missed the cut in his last major – a 79-72 start at The Olympic Club – and didn’t make it to the weekend last year at Royal St. George’s, but Lytham gives him hope.
This is, after all, the same links land where Seve Ballesteros won two claret jugs with a wayward swing and a magical short game, and the Spaniard is something of a kindred spirit for Donald.
“I’ve not always been known as the guy who hits it consistently tee-to-green, but I have a great short game,” Donald said. “Seve was known as someone that would hit it wild off the tee and use his short game to get out of trouble. I’ve got to go into this tournament with that kind of fun attitude, no matter how I’m hitting it.”
So the message for the week is simple, if Seve can do it, Luke can do it.