Donald inspired by Seve's Lytham magic

Posted at 07/18/12 10:26 AM

LYTHAM ST ANNES, England - Watching footage of Seve Ballesteros winning the 1979 British Open at Lytham with an array of dazzling shots can inspire Luke Donald to this year's title, the world number one said on Tuesday.

Spaniard Ballesteros fired a magical 65 to get himself into contention to win his first major before conjuring up some daring recovery strokes in a final-round 70, including the most famous one from a car park, to lift the Claret Jug.

"I have watched some of it, the iconic chip, playing from under the car on 16," said Donald whose greatest strength is his skill around the greens.

"I think that should give me some heart, that I've not always been known as the guy who hits it consistently tee-to-green but I have a great short game," the Briton told a news conference.

"I have great skills to get the ball in the hole no matter how I'm playing. 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, that no matter how I'm hitting it, there's always a way to make a score."

Donald has not started a major championship with a round below 70 since 2006 and he knows he needs a vast improvement on his opening 79 at last month's U.S. Open if he is to win his first major.

"The remedy has to come from me," he said.

"It's taken a bit of time for that thought to drop because I just have been getting a little bit too uptight and anxious.

"It's a very normal mode to switch into because the pressure is that much more. You want it that much more.

Emotional control

Donald said the key was to control his emotions.

"It's going to be tough," he said. "There will be times when I get uptight but then I've just got to kind of remember where I am and how I want to feel over each shot."

The Englishman is not looking any further than his opening tee shot on the par-three first hole at Lytham on Thursday.

"I'm focusing on hitting a good solid shot, finding that ball and going to the putt and then going to the second hole and not really getting too far ahead of myself and raising those expectations which I have done in the past."

Donald has won two tournaments this year and warmed up for the Open with a top-20 finish in last week's Scottish Open.

"I feel like I did a lot of good work in the last two weeks," he said. "And I felt quite comfortable in the competition last week at the Scottish Open.

"I hit a lot of very solid tee shots and that's exactly what you need to do around here."

The 34-year-old is a big fan of the Lytham links.

"I do like this course," he said. "I think it's set up great. It's very fair but it's very tough. You've just got to step up there and hit good tee shots. You're not going to be able to get to the greens from the bunkers."

(Editing by Tony Jimenez)

View more