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Refreshed Luke Donald looking forward to Pebble Beach

Refreshed after a three-week break, Britain's Luke Donald will be able to draw on stirring memories at this week's Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

Donald equaled the course record at Spyglass Hill Golf Club with a sizzling 10-under-par 62 in the opening round of last year's tournament, his lowest score as a professional.

"It was one of those rounds where everything kept building and building, I kept getting a lot more momentum behind me," the 29-year-old Englishman told reporters on Tuesday.

"It was one of those rounds where I felt invincible. Every time I looked at a putt, it seemed to go in.

"It's hard to explain those kinds of rounds. You just get in the zone and feel like nothing can go wrong.

"A lot of people consider Spyglass probably the hardest of the three and to shoot 62 there was a tremendous start."

Spyglass is one of three par-72 venues for the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, along with the hosting Pebble Beach Golf Links and Poppy Hills Golf Club.

Donald reeled off eight birdies and an eagle in almost perfect conditions on the Monterey Peninsula last year to match the 62 fired by Phil Mickelson at the same venue in 2005.

However, he failed to maintain that form over the next three days, returning scores of 72, 71 and 74 on his way to a tie for seventh place.

Twelve months on, Donald is much more accomplished as a player and would dearly love to triumph at an event where he has always felt comfortable.

"It's a tournament I've done quite well in so I'm really looking forward to this week," said the world number eight, who has not played since last month's Sony Open in Hawaii.

"I've put myself in contention before but haven't quite finished it off. I enjoy playing here but the greens are pretty tricky and they can be a little bobbly at times.

"You really have to be very patient mentally, and you have to keep the ball in certain places to be successful around here. I think that kind of suits my game."

Chicago resident Donald has firmly established himself in the world's top 10 since winning his second PGA Tour title at last year's Honda Classic.

Widely regarded as one of the most accurate players from tee to green, he is eager to build on a solid start to the 2007 PGA Tour.

"I played nicely in the first two events of the year and felt my swing was back on track," Donald said of his seventh place at the season-opening Mercedes-Benz Championship at Kapalua and runner-up spot at the Sony Open in Honolulu.

"I thought I had a chance to win it at the Sony but it slipped away a little bit. But I'm definitely off to a good start.

"I'm coming off a three-week break as I felt like I needed a bit of time off after a very busy year last year. Now I'm ready to go again here."

The Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, the sixth event on the 2007 PGA Tour, starts on Thursday.

February 7, 2007

 




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