Donald can end another cracking year for Europe with USPGA win

Sam Torrance
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IT’S BEEN another fantastic year for European golf at the Majors and I can see Luke Donald topping it off with victory in the USPGA at the Atlanta Athletic Club.

As ever the lengthening of the course – it measures 270 yards more than when David Toms won here a decade ago – gets mentioned, but with the rough as wild as it, is accuracy rather than distance that will be the key off the tee.

In that respect, Donald has few equals and with another solid performance behind him last week at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational he’ll be full of confidence.

People might focus on the fact he was again the bridesmaid at Firestone, but he was never really within striking distance and four rounds in the 60s suggests his game is very much in order.

It’s also worth remembering he was beaten by a rejuvenated Adam Scott, and he too should be a leading contender this week. A lot is made of the failure of the likes of Donald and Westwood to win Majors, but it’s equally astonishing the Aussie is yet to break his duck.

I was encouraged by Tiger Woods’ performance on his comeback too and was particularly pleased to see him no longer slashing at the ball.

Having said that,with the field so strong this week, I feel it might be too soon for him to be considered a real danger.

Another American, Rickie Fowler, has won a lot of admirers this year, particularly after the way he warmed to a challenging task at the Open, but I expect the home challenge to be led by Dustin Johnson.

Having preached the importance of accuracy it might seem a little odd tipping the biggest hitter in the game. But so tight are the fairways that it’s inevitable you’re going to find yourself in the rough stuff, and if you are, it’s certainly more desirable to be hacking your way out from as close to the hole as possible.