RBC Heritage

Like clockwork, Donald contending at Harbour Town again

ksalter@islandpacket.comApril 19, 2014 

Luke Donald tees off on No. 9 during the second round of the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing on Friday at Harbour Town Golf Links in Sea Pines on Hilton Head Island S.C.

JAY KARR — Jay Karr Buy Photo

At 1 under, facing the possibility of falling back to even par, Luke Donald worked a little bit of his Hilton Head Island magic on Friday.

After a tee shot into the rough on the right side of the No. 12 fairway, Donald's second shot reached the fringe of the green.

"I actually got out of position," said Donald, who started the day on the back nine during the second round of the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing. "I was on the green, used a wedge to chip across the fringe and got back up and down. If I had made bogey there to go back to even par, it might have been a little momentum killer."

Instead, Donald emerged unscathed on his way to another productive round at Harbour Town Golf Links. The Englishman's name is a common sight on the leaderboards here, where Donald has tallied four top-three finishes in his last five attempts.

That consistency has not yet been rewarded with a win.

When play was suspended just before 3 p.m., Donald had put himself in the mix again after two rounds, tied for third. Admitting his fortune at having escaped the heaviest rainfall -- most of it began as he wrapped up things with a par on No. 9 -- Donald said conditions were nonetheless slightly more difficult than Thursday.

"This course, you've got to keep it in play and kind of plot success," Donald said. "I'm glad I'm done. It looks like the weather is only getting worse."

Birdies on the par-5 15th and the par-3 17th put one of the week's main contenders at 3 under for the tournament. Another at No. 2 brought him within one of leader K.J. Choi, but he made bogey on No. 7 to settle in at 3 under.

That was enough to keep him in striking distance of his first Heritage crown after many close calls at what he believes is an ideal course for his game.

"It's not a course you can overpower," Donald said. "You have to be pretty proficient on the greens. It's a good course for me. That's why I love coming here."

Donald said some of the adjustments he implemented over the last few months have his play trending upward. He said he has been working on hitting more with his body than his hands to create a better trajectory on his shots.

Even with his successful round, however, Donald felt he left a few opportunities out on the course.

"I hit 15 greens today," Donald said. "If I got a little hotter with the putter, it could have been really special."

It might yet be.

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