• BMW PGA Championship

Donald: Don't compare me to Bergkamp!

Alex Perry at Wentworth
May 21, 2014
Luke Donald admits he is excited for what is always a "fun week" at the BMW PGA Championship © Getty Images

Luke Donald says he is in confident mood ahead of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth but the staunch Tottenham fan baulked at a comparison to Arsenal legend Dennis Bergkamp.

In what was a far more jovial press conference to that of Rory McIlroy earlier in the day, Donald, champion here in 2011 and 2012, said he hoped to get "in the zone" as he prepares an assault on a first Tour title since that win two years ago.

'That's the first I've heard of it'

Rory McIlroy announced his split from Caroline Wozniacki on Wednesday © Getty Images
  • Luke Donald revealed that the press conference was the first time he had heard about Rory McIlroy's split from Caroline Wozniacki.
  • Suddenly more solemn, he added: "I can't imagine what he's going through right now.
  • "We all know how hard this game can be when you have a clear mind.
  • "Obviously that's the first I've heard of it and I'm as surprised and shocked as I'm sure you are.
  • "Any time you have personal issues clouding your mind while playing golf, it becomes very difficult.
  • "Obviously I wish both Rory and Caroline the very best."
  • Elsewhere at the Wentworth, Justin Rose says he is targeting the world No.1 spot, while Ian Poulter admits he may not even be able to tee up on Thursday.

Donald was in good spirits throughout, and when asked if he was anything like Bergkamp - famous for remaining ice cool even in the hottest of battles - the Spurs supporter jokingly replied: "Who?"

He added: "In golf we call it 'the zone'. It where there's no real thought process to the shot - you just step up, see the shot and you're able to execute it.

"That's what you're always searching for and golf is a lot of fun when you have it."

Turning his attention to the more serious matters ahead this week, Donald added: "Obviously 2011 here is some of my best memories; going down the stretch against Lee [Westwood] and getting to world No.1 as a result.

"It's a fun week with a good crowd and fun atmosphere. It has a strong field and is very well supported. I'm not over in England very often so the fans are looking to catch a piece of me, get some autographs and watch me play. Because of that, it makes for a fun week of golf.

"And, of course, having had some success here in the last few years, I always look forward to coming back."

Donald was not completely full of praise for Wentworth. The club's West Course over which the Championship is played has come in for some heavy criticism from the likes of McIlroy and Ian Poulter, who have both performed poorly in this event.

"There are certain holes that could be tweaked," Donald added. "The fifth, a long par-3, slopes away from you. You can hit a really good shot into there and still be 40 feet from the hole. When you miss around this course, you have to have a good short game. The bunkers are very deep and you need to be confident out of the sand.

"But my putting is a big strength of mine and when they re-laid the greens they were a lot smoother so that worked in my favour.

"I can't speak for Rory or Poults, but there were certain changes that benifitted the way I played.

"I may be friends with those guys, as well as Justin [Rose], but when I'm out there it's still a competition and I don't want to lose to them."

Alex Perry is an assistant editor at ESPN.co.uk. You can follow him on Twitter at @AlexPerryESPN

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