Out of form Donald hoping for Wentworth spark

Tue May 19, 2015 1:53pm EDT
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By Tony Jimenez

VIRGINIA WATER, England (Reuters) - Former world number one Luke Donald has been in the golfing doldrums for the last three years but is hoping a return to the scene of past glories this week can kickstart a turnaround in fortunes.

The Chicago-based Englishman is without a victory in Europe or the United States since 2012 and has slumped to 60th in the rankings, a position that puts his place in the sport's leading tournaments in jeopardy.

"You always enjoy coming back to a place where you've had a lot of successes and some of my best successes have been here," Donald told a news conference at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on Tuesday.

"Hopefully, it's a place that will spark me to kind of get this season started a little bit."

Donald won the European Tour's flagship event in 2011 and 2012 and came close last year, finishing tied third behind winner Rory McIlroy.

World number one McIlroy has won three times this season and was in outstanding form when he romped to a seven-stroke victory at the Wells Fargo Championship in North Carolina on Sunday.

The Northern Irishman is renowned for his long, booming drives while Donald's strengths lie in his ability to plot his way around courses and he said his game was perfectly suited to Wentworth.

"Even though it is a course that has some length at 7,300 yards... some holes take the driver out of your hands," explained Donald who spent 56 weeks at the top of the rankings between 2011 and 2012.   Continued...

England's Luke Donald during a press conference. Golf - BMW PGA Championship - Virginia Water, Surrey, England - 19/5/15. Action Images via Reuters / Paul Childs