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Donald grinds hard to shoot 73

Golf Talk Central
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PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Luke Donald didn’t seem to miss a shot winning the Accenture Match Play Championship last week.

It didn’t take long for Donald to miss one in the heavy winds over PGA National in Thursday’s first round of the Honda Classic.

At his second hole (No. 11), Donald rinsed his approach shot in the pond fronting the green, leading to a triple-bogey 7.

“I just got off to an awful start,” Donald said. “It was a tough day, but I grinded it out pretty good. I could easily have let that round go.”

Donald didn’t, holding his round together for a 3-over-par 73. After the triple bogey, he made eight consecutive pars in winds that gusted up to 31 mph. The morning wave's scoring average was nearly 4-over par. Only five players broke par in the morning, three shot in the 80s.

Donald won the Honda Classic when it was played across the street at Mirasol in 2006. He has a home in Palm Beach Gardens but hasn’t played this event the last two years. He missed last year after tweaking his surgically repaired left wrist and missed two years ago after his wife gave birth to their first child.