Donald number two now, but set to take advantage
Luke Donald returns to competition after missing last week's Honda Classic declaring he is primed to take full advantage of any pushing and shoving by Rory Mcilroy and Lee Westwood in the first two days of the WGC - Cadillac Championship in Florida.
Organisers have grouped the world's top three ranked players together for the opening rounds of the $US 8.5m event being staged on the Blue Monster course at Doral.
In his absence last week Donald lost his World No. 1 crown to McIlroy while Westwood was dethoned from World No.1 by Donald last May in their epic Sunday showdown at Wentworth.
But while much interest will focus on how McIlroy and Westwood conduct themselves around the Florida course given until late last year they were ISM management stablemates, Donald says it is a situation that could benefit him in regaining the game's top world ranking.
"Well, it might be an advantage," said Donald.
"They can‑‑ I suppose there's a little bit of not tension, but there was a lot of energy in their match at the Match Play. Maybe they will focus on each other again Thursday, Friday, I don't know. Maybe I can just slip away and make some birdies without them noticing.
"Yeah, it will be a fun three ball. Obviously Rory is the guy that's playing well, but as always, you always concentrate on your own game."
There was much debate at the end of last year when McIlroy shocked ISM in announcing he was quitting his four-year relationship with the Manchester based outfit and moving to the Dublin located Horizon Sports Management.
Many suggested there may have been friction between McIlroy and Westwood and that was the reason for McIlroy opting out of his 'handshake' agreement with ISM.
Donald was quizzed on what he thought of the McIlroy/Westwood relationship and in reply he said: "I think it's a very friendly one really to be honest with you.
"From what I can see, they are still very chatty towards each other.
"There's no animosity, from all the things that happened, from Rory moving away from Chubby and his group, I think it was just a business decision and that's the way they saw it, both of them."
And in an insight to Donald's life he was quizzed where he was last Sunday when the Englishman learnt his 40-week reign at World No. 1 ended.
"I was actually with my daughters at the playground," said Donald.
"I had just finished‑‑ just got out of the gym and met them at the playground, and yeah, saw the scores, saw that Rory had a two‑shot lead I think playing the last.
"I thought there's somewhere to improve from now. It's hard to go very far when you're No. 1.
"But no, I didn't give too much thought. That's what happens. I mean, I've had a little bit of a slow start. Rory's played well and probably deservedly over took me.
"I've always never really questioned the World Ranking system. It's an unbiased mathematical system, and you know, he's done enough to get to No. 1."
Organisers have also grouped the World No. 4, 5 and 6 - Martin Kaymer, Steve Stricker and Webb Simpson - in the same three ball.
And to continue the trend the World No. 7, 8 and 9 will be together along with the World No. 10, 11 and 12.
Defending Cadillac champion, Nick Watney who is ranked No. 17 will tee up alongside World No. 16 Tiger Woods and present World No. 18 Sergio Garcia.Written by Bernie McGuire
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