An injury to Jaco van Zyl has seen Luke Donald qualify for this year’s Open Championship. The 38-year-old has slumped down the rakings in recent years, but he has now been given a chance to compete at one of golf’s biggest tournaments.
Back in 2011 Donald was at the top of golf’s rankings, but he has since suffered a drop in form and is now ranked 83rd. He has come fifth at The Open twice in his career, back in 2009 and 2012, and last year he narrowly missed out on a top ten finish, finishing 12th.
Following his performance at The Open last year he moved to 60th in the World Rankings, and it looked as though he could push on and become a force in the game again. However, since then he has struggled and has slipped back down the rankings. His only top ten finish at any tournament this year came when he finished second at the RBC heritage. His most recent outing saw him come 45th in the French Open. He appeared in the US Open earlier this year, but struggled and missed the cut.
Donald hast finished in the top ten of a Major since 2013, but he will be hoping that he can again surprise at this year’s Open. The course is likely to suit his game, and having been given a surprise chance at the tournament, he will know he has nothing to lose.
At his peak, Donald was right up there with the best in the game. At 38, he is still young enough to return to somewhere near his best and get back amongst the elite. While he will not be among the favourites, he will know that a strong showing at the tournament will not only remind people he is still around, but could also spark a turnaround in fortunes that propels the Englishman back up the rankings.