Donald primed for final money push as he defends Madrid Masters title

luke donald, javier ballesteros
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World No. 1 Luke Donald gave some advice to Javier Ballesteros, son of the late Seve Ballesteros, during the Wednesday pro-am at the Bankia Madrid Masters.
PA Sport

Series: European Tour

Published: Wednesday, October 05, 2011 | 2:02 p.m.

World No. 1 Luke Donald hopes fatigue will not be a factor when he defends his Bankia Madrid Masters title this week.

Donald has had a busy schedule recently as he attempts to become the first player to win the money list on both sides of the Atlantic in the same season. But the 33-year-old was keen to try to taste victory in Madrid again after last year's success proved the catalyst for his march to the top of the rankings.


The Bankia Madrid Masters is making its first appearance at the new El Encín Golf Hotel, which features a Robert Von Hagge design in the shadow of the mountains of the Santos del la Humosa region northwest of Madrid.

Asked if his batteries needed recharging, Donald said: "They will after this week, but one more push and then we'll have some time off.

"It's not easy to play both tours. The way my schedule has turned out this year, with the FedExCup and my wife expecting our second child in a few weeks, I had to cram it in a little bit," he added. "It's not easy, but I'm finding the energy to keep going.

"When you are playing well, the game is a lot more fun. I'm enjoying the success I've had and being in contention," he explained. "When you are in contention, adrenaline really does drive you. Hopefully I'll be able to feed on that and carry on the good results.

"But being always in contention takes a physical and mental toll on you. It'll be important for me to take some time off after this week and recharge for the rest of the season," he said. "With the lead I have in the Race to Dubai (about $1.5 million over Rory McIlroy), I would like to play one or two more events, but being around for the birth of my child is much more important.

"Right now my schedule is to play Sun City, Dubai World Championship and Australian Masters at the end of the year."

Donald has not ruled adding a Fall Series tournament on the PGA Tour to his schedule if he is overtaken on the money list by Webb Simpson, but insists he would never focus solely on America.

"I don't see myself playing only in the U.S. for a few reasons," he said. "One, I would never want to miss the Ryder Cup and obviously not being a member of the European Tour would make me ineligible. And I also enjoy coming over here and supporting the tour.

"I think that playing a global schedule has made me a better golfer," he added. "I've made my home in the U.S., my wife and my child are from there, my coach is there, so it would be a big upheaval to leave that tour and play just Europe. Combining both tours makes it more difficult and more challenging, but I think it also makes me a better player."

Donald also believes becoming a father has helped in that regard.

"When you play better golf you do enjoy it more, those two go hand in hand, but I think my attitude has improved a lot over the last couple of years," he said. "I don't think there's any coincidence having a child has really helped with that. It's made me a little bit more responsible and made it easier for me to let go of those tough days and put a lot of things in perspective."