Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 13 July 2014

Donald left to rue first day blunders

England's Luke Donald posted his best finish in the Open but was left to rue an opening round which cost him the chance of victory.

While the likes of Miguel Angel Jimenez and Tom Watson were tearing up the Turnberry course in ideal sunny, calm conditions the Ryder Cup star was labouring to a one-over 71. It left him too much ground to catch up and although, after posting 72 and 70 on Friday and Saturday, he came in with a final-round 67 to equal the best of the day it was only good enough for a level-par total of 280.

That was good enough to secure a top-10 place — his previous best was 35th at Hoylake two years ago — but the 31-year-old knows he missed an opportunity.

“I played solidly today, in fact I played solidly the last three days and the only day I really struggled was the first day in perfect conditions,” said the American-based Englishman, who had to pull out of last year's Open at Royal Birkdale because of a wrist injury.

“I can't be disappointed with a 67 today. I would have liked to have holed that (10-foot) putt on the last to get into red numbers but I'm very happy with the way I played.

“I'm satisfied with the week. The only thing I can be frustrated with is day one; to shoot one-over and be in 60th or 70th place it was always going to be an uphill struggle after that. My game feels good. My goal was to get a little better attuned to links-style golf.

“My record has been miserable up to now so it is nice to come over and figure it out.”

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