Two eagles bring the smile back to Donald's face

Sun Nov 16, 2014 12:07pm EST
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By Tony Jimenez

BELEK Turkey (Reuters) - Luke Donald has been suffering in a dark space in recent times but the former world number one believes he can start to see some shafts of light at the end of a long tunnel.

The Englishman's confidence has taken something of a battering but he was bathed in smiles on Sunday after two eagles helped him conclude his Turkish Airlines Open campaign with a five-under-par 67.

Donald improved with each passing day at the European Tour's penultimate event of the season, following a poor opening 74 on Thursday and subsequent rounds of 73 and 68.

"It's been a bit frustrating lately," the 36-year-old told Reuters in a typically understated way on a sun-kissed day by the Mediterranean.

"I've been banging my head against a wall for the last few months. It's tough when you know you are a capable player and it's not quite happening for you.

"This game will get to you sometimes but I'm quietly confident with the work I've been doing with my coach and it's starting to pay off," added Donald, who has slipped to 37th in the world having spent 56 weeks at the top of the rankings in 2011 and 2012.

"For three or four months there I wasn't really making any birdies and this weekend I've started to score well. It's a good sign that it's all starting to come back."

Having endured the agony of missing out on a place in Europe's victorious Ryder Cup team in Scotland in September, Donald reunited with former coach Pat Goss after admitting the radical swing change he underwent with Chuck Cook had not worked.   Continued...

Luke Donald of England watches his tee shot on the sixth hole during the first round of the 2014 PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky, August 7, 2014. REUTERS/Brian Snyder