Donald defends Scottish Open crown

11 Jul 2012 21:46:56

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World No. 1 Luke Donald will be hoping for Scottish Open recognition this week after going unnoticed by Australian pop singer, Kylie Minogue at Wimbledon.

Donald is defending his Scottish Open title after winning the rain-reduced event by four strokes last year at Castle Stuart near Inverness in northern Scotland.

Last week Donald was invited to Wimbledon and the Royal Box for the Men's semi-finals where the Chicago-based Brit sat beside Minogue.

However, the 44-year chart top singer was oblivious Donald was a professional golfer.

"She actually wasn't aware that I was a golfer," said Donald.

"So I had to mention that to her, but her boyfriend is a keen golfer and she turned that around, and said he's a professional golfer. And he turned around and goes, yes, I know (laughing).

"But it was the first time I had been to the Royal Box and Kylie was a sweet girl, actually. A really genuine nice girl, down to earth, and I enjoyed chatting to her.

"I got to watch two great matches, and it was fun day out."

Donald is this week celebrating his 52nd week as World No. 1 and looking also to capture his second European Tour title in three events since retaining his BMW PGA Championship crown at Wentworth.

As well, Donald will be striving to become the first back-to-back winner of the prestigious Scottish event since it came under the European Tour banner in 1972.

However he returns after missing the cut in last month's US Open with shock opening rounds of 79 and 72 for an 11-over par Olympic Golf Club tally.

"I've had three weeks away from competition given it's a very long season and I've got a busy period coming up playing 10 out of the next 13 weeks," he said.

"I have spent a lot of time working more diligently on my swing rather than I usually do.

"I tend to practice a little bit on the range, but a lot more on the short game, and I kind of turned it around a little bit.

"I wasn't very happy with how I hit the ball at the US Open, and that was the result of a little bit of left-to-right cuts."

Last year's Scottish Open debut at the acclaimed Gil Hanse designed course was ruined by monsoon-like rain that forced officials to abandon the final round.

Donald came from a shot behind Lee Westwood to win with a third day 63, and with Westwood tumbling to a share of 14th with a 68.

"Every time you come back to an event that you have won the year before, so many good memories come back of what you did well," said Donald.

"And also to be celebrating my 52nd collective week as World No. 1 is something I am very proud of."

Donald is the only player inside the top-10 on the World Rankings competing in Scotland and with Germany's Martin Kaymer next highest at No. 14.

And after finishing in last place in last week's French Open, Kaymer revealed a novel way how he overcame Versailles rounds of 77 and 78 - mowing and weeding his grandmother's lawn.

"When I arrived here in Scotland, I felt very relaxed, very refreshed after having a couple of days at home, and after my weekend scores in France," said Kaymer.

"I drove home from France and then on Monday was a relaxing day at my grandma's house where I did work for her in the backyard.

"I mowed the lawns and then I pulled out, how you say it in English, the bad flowers - the weeds in the lawn.

"I really enjoyed it and it was fun. It's a different thing to do. I look at it as therapy. To get completely away from golf and just do normal work, and what normal people do."

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