• US Open

Donald: Conditions won't help top players

ESPN staff
June 11, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Luke Donald hopes to improve on a poor US Open record this week © Getty Images
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Luke Donald believes the wet weather that has ravaged Merion Golf Course will make this week's US Open a free-for-all - and hopes he can be one of the players to benefit.

Penal conditions at US Open courses usually punish errant shots, playing into the hands of those who can stay patient, think their way around the layout and execute precise shots under pressure.

But, with soggy conditions underfoot allowing players to find the fairway with greater ease and stop the ball on greens with fewer problems, Donald believes top players will be at no advantage over other, less heralded players in the field this time around.

"I think in a way the weather brings in a lot more players to have an opportunity," Donald said on Tuesday. "I think it makes the course a little bit easier.

"It doesn't play quite as tough. And I think as a top player you want the place to play as tough as it possibly can."

Merion is not a long course, however, and Donald is hopeful that he may be one of the players to benefit from the conditions - with the premium likely to be placed on the short game hopefully playing into his hands.

He added: "[It's a] course where I'm only hitting five drivers, a course where I'm hitting a lot of wedges in my hands, playing to my strengths, where I feel like from a hundred yards in I'm pretty good.

"This course demands a lot of good wedge play. Obviously you've still got to do what's pretty important in US Opens; hit fairways, hit greens. That will be a big key for me if I want to be successful."

Adam Scott recently claimed his first major, having overhauled his approach to the sport's biggest events over the last three years. Donald has also been attempting to tweak his game specifically for the majors in recent months, focusing on finding more accuracy off the tee - something he feels is crucial at the game's biggest events.

"In US Opens usually success comes from hitting a lot of fairways and hitting a lot of greens, and I think my game is more from the hole backwards," he noted. "I've always kind of worked that way.

"This year I've made a little bit more of a conscious effort to try and change [my approach], to get a little bit more control. Working things around, spending a little bit more time on the range working on really solidifying a few things.

"It hasn't happened yet, but statistics will show I've improved in those areas. And I'll be starting to hit more greens, having more control, more control of my ball flight. And that's what you need out here to be successful."

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