Matchplay Specialist Donald Disposes of Kuchar Like It’s No Big Deal
By Stephanie Wei under European PGA Tour

Luke = formidable opponent

Luke Donald cruised to a 6&5 victory over Matt Kuchar to reach the finals at the Match Play Championship. I mean, Luke made it look easy. In Kuchar’s defense, he couldn’t do much with Luke dropping five birdies on the front nine. I barely turned away when I noticed Luke was 7-up through 10 holes.

Kuchar momentarily staged a little run, winning the 11th and 12th — in fact, he almost aced the par-3 No. 12. But Luke rolled in a 10-footer for birdie on No. 13 to end the match.

“I escaped, escaped and escaped,” said Kuchar about getting away with mistakes made in earlier matches. “There’s no escaping Luke Donald. I’m playing some decent golf, but he’s tearing it up.”

“Luuuuuuke, Luuuuuuke,” the crowd chanted after Donald won.

Meanwhile, Luke can reach No. 3 in the world rankings if he wins the finals on Sunday. He wasn’t aware of this detail (because who can understand the OWGR calculations, anyway?) until Dottie Pepper informed him during his post-victory interview.

“I didn’t know that, but obviously that would be amazing (to go to No. 3 in the world),” said Luke. “I’ve been playing consistently, but I’ve been lacking winning over here for a few years. I’ve got a good chance tomorrow and hopefully I can take it.”

Ever so modest, Luke said his play was “good.” When Dottie asked him for one word to describe the day, he replied, “I guess pretty dominant. I was able to keep my opponents at bay and get ahead early and stay ahead. It felt good. It’s nice to get done early in both matches on a long day like this.”

Luke also set a record in number of holes (73) played to reach the finals in Match Play, according to Doug Ferguson of the AP. Of those 73 holes, Luke birdied 27.

On Sunday he will face the winner of the Martin Kaymer vs. Bubba Watson duel.


(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)