Even when you have the track record and experience of former world number 1 Luke Donald, it is still possible to get caught up in one of the most obvious rules of the game of golf. The one that consists of identifying your ball and thus avoiding being penalized stupidly.
On the par 4 hole number 16 Friday of the 2nd round of the Italian Open, Luke Donald sent his face-off in the rough, where one of the course commissioners present on the route of the future Ryder Cup believed to find her.
When the Englishman approached the area, he played this ball spotted by the volunteer, convinced that it was his, a red Titleist n°4.
Luke Donald, results
Lack of luck or carelessness of the player, this ball was not that of the Captain of the Ryder Cup.
“Bad drive in the high rough, I played and then realized I had played a bad ball. Same Tittleist 4 red but not with my markings. This is the first time this has happened to me”. Donald commented on Twitter. Realizing his mistake before finishing the hole, he was not disqualified, but Donald was forced to return to play his real ball.
He received two penalty strokes and registered an annoying triple bogey on his card. Despite this blunder, the 44-year-old did not get upset and then signed 5 birdies over the next 8 holes. His 68 allowed him to enter the top 10 on the eve of the weekend!
Although his father was Scottish, Luke Donald was born in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire (therefore he calls himself half Scottish). He began to play with his brother, who soon became his caddy. He immediately started winning his first tournaments as early as the age of 15.
He attended the Royal Grammar School (High Wycombe) in his youth. He soon migrated to America to study at the College Prospects of America, under the orders of golfer Martin Laird. He quickly made a name for himself, so much so that major American colleges wanted him as a team in exchange for a scholarship.
He was also accepted at Stanford, but was unable to enter due to problems not related to golf. He then "fell back" to Northwestern University in the year 1997, where he studied art, and where he even entered a fraternity.
Under the orders of coach Pat Goss he won the NCAA Division I singles title in 1999, breaking Tiger Woods' record. On May 29, 2011, after Virginia Waters' victory at the BMW Pga Championship (at the last blow against fellow countryman Lee Westwood, who was also in the running for the world record as well as for the Tournament), he became Number 1 in the world ranking for the first time in career.