Luke Donald has been a welcome, and popular addition, to the Sky Sports team at Wentworth this week, although he is hopeful that the role is temporary as he recovers from a back injury.
Donald has relished the opportunity to co-present with his former Walker Cup team-mate Nick Dougherty in the Sky Zone as well as enjoying a few stints on live commentary during coverage of the BMW PGA Championship.
There are not many better qualified to give insight into the tournament, with the 40-year-old having won back-to-back titles over the West Course in 2011 and 2012, one of only three men to mount a successful defence after Nick Faldo and Colin Montgomerie.
The former world No 1, who was named on Tuesday as one of Thomas Bjorn’s assistant captains for the Ryder Cup, admits he would rather be “in the heat of competition”, but he expects to be back on Tour before the summer is out.
“I haven’t played for a few weeks now because of my back injury, and I’ve obviously missed the playing aspect,” said Donald, who is currently undergoing treatment and rehab for a herniated disc in his back.
“So talking about golf rather than being talked about is certainly different, but I’ve really enjoyed it. I’d rather be out there in the heat of competition, but it’s been fun.
“I was a little hesitant and anxious about this at the start of the week, and I wasn’t quite sure how it was going to turn out. But the feedback has been good, and I’m happy with that. I’m lucky to have a good team around me and that’s made it a lot easier.
“As much as I’ve enjoyed it, I’m obviously hoping this is just temporary, but further down the road it’s something I’d be keen to get into.
“It’s been a different insight to be able to watch my fellow pros in action. When you’re out there playing, you are just focused on your own game and not taking much notice of what others are doing.
“To see how the others are playing this week, you get to realise what they do well and where they really excel and it gives me the occasional insight as to where I can improve.”
Rory McIlroy’s form over the first two days has impressed fans and players alike, and Donald added: “I’ve certainly seen a lot more golf than I usual would at Wentworth, and watching Rory this week has been a reminder that we all wish we could swing the club like he does!
“We all have our own individual techniques and it’s tough to replicate what others are doing, but it’s nice to see how it’s done properly when Rory is in full flow. He’s been on fire over the first part of the tournament, and it’s been a joy to watch him play.
“Hopefully I’ll be back playing again in a couple of months, but it’s hard to tell. I’m having treatment for a herniated disc in my back, and that involves a lot of rehab and rest but, thankfully, no surgery. If all goes well in my recovery, I really hope to be back competing again before the end of the season.”
Live European Tour Golf
May 27, 2018, 11:30am
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