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Donald, Bradley encouraged by recent swing change

Luke Donald at the 2013 RBC Heritage
Getty Images

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Swing changes can be slow to take, but Luke Donald and Keegan Bradley are showing signs this week that they’re close to returning to championship form. 

Both players sit at 7-under 203, in a tie for fifth, heading into the final round of the Honda Classic.

Last August, Donald, the former world No. 1, changed to coach Chuck Cook to strengthen a long game that he felt wasn’t strong enough to continually contend in majors. Progress has been slow as the 36-year-old transitioned to a swing in which he hit the ball with his turn instead of his hands.

After a drought-busting victory in Japan, Donald has failed to finish inside the top 15 in each of his next four starts. He’s dropped all the way to No. 24 in the world.

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“It’s moving in the right direction,” he said Saturday. “Certainly every week it gets better and better, and feeling more and more solid. I’m getting to a point where I’m having to think a lot less about it. Obviously that’s what you want when you’re playing competitive golf.” 

Bradley moved from longtime coach Jim McLean to Cook in the fall, after seeing the swing coach’s interaction with another student, PGA champion Jason Dufner, who is one of Bradley’s closest friends on Tour.

Since the change, Bradley has been consistent if unspectacular, racking up top-20 finishes but rarely in the hunt on Sunday afternoon. 

“Everything just seems to really be in good shape right now,” he said. “It feels solid. My short game is better than it’s ever been, so I’m really looking forward to tomorrow.”