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Friday, December 2, 2011

Donald Knocks Off the Rust

After a roller-coaster November that saw both the death of his dad and the birth of his daughter, Luke Donald is finally back out on the course. Not at the UBS Hong Kong Open -- where Rory McIlroy is making his best effort to catch Donald in the Race to Dubai -- but at the limited-field Nedbank Golf Challenge.

And it's clear Donald has a little rust to deal with after his layoff. He's T9 after 2 rounds, 5 shots off the lead. Rounds of 70-72 probably aren't that bad after a month away but his 8 birdies were offset by 4 bogeys and 1 double, some of which went in the drink -- hardly what we're used to seeing from him.

Ironically, the real story in Sun City may be Jason Dufner, the only American in the field. (Yes, there's a senior field playing with several Americans in it, but that division doesn't even show up on the leaderboard.) Dufner is only one shot off the lead and playing very steady golf. (By that I mean NO BIG NUMBERS. He has 9 birdies and 3 bogeys.)

Next week I suspect Donald will be at Dubai to make sure he wins the Race to Dubai. And I'm sure at least part of the reason he's in Sun City rather than Hong Kong is 4 guaranteed rounds of competitive golf against most of the higher-ranked players in the world. But of all the tournaments being played this week, it appears he picked the one with the nicest weather.

If you've gotta knock off the rust, you might as well do it in style.

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