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Page last updated at 18:23 GMT, Sunday, 19 July 2009 19:23 UK

Donald secures best Open finish

The 138th Open, Turnberry
Date: 16-19 July
Coverage: Live TV coverage on BBC Two, Online and the Red Button, live on Radio 5 Live and text commentary online on all four days

By Ged Scott
BBC Sport at Turnberry

Luke Donald
Donald acknowledges the galleries during his final round at Turnberry

Luke Donald earned his best finish at an Open Championship as he fired a last-round three-under-par 67 to end up tied for sixth place.

That beat his tie for 35th at Hoylake three years ago, and Donald told BBC Sport: "Without a doubt, my record up to now has been pretty poor.

"I wanted to change that, so it has been good to come over and do something about that.

"I've actually played nicely for the last three days."

In the end Donald finished just two shots out of the play-off.

And, although frustrated at not being there too, he remained in awe at being bettered by a 59-year-old.

"I love that Tom Watson has had a chance to win and competed so strongly," said Donald

"They don't announce the winner of the Open as 'the champion golfer of the year' for no reason.

I played nicely today, controlled the ball well and plucked off some birdies where I could

Luke Donald on his final round

"The Open does test every facet of your game.

"Golf has become a little bit too much about who can bomb the ball.

"This week is more about strategy, about shaping the ball left and right in the wind.

"And Tom Watson can do that," added Donald, who had the honour of playing with him and Jack Nicklaus at St Andrews, the memorable day the Golden Bear said his farewell to the Open in 2005.

"He's not going to drive it past Bubba Watson every day but he knows how to control his ball."

The Hemel Hempstead-born, Buckinghamshire-bred golfer, now based in America admitted: "The only thing I can be frustrated about was day one.

"But I played nicely today, controlled the ball well and plucked off some birdies where I could.

"I had a three-putt bogey at eight and one at 14 but I made five strong birdies and could even have had a couple more.

"It certainly would have been nice to have got that putt at the last and to get into red numbers."

Needing an early move up the leaderboard, Donald made an ideal start to his final round, opening up with a birdie at the first and another at the fourth.

He then dropped one at the eighth but was back to two under for his round with a birdie at 10.



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