The Open 2011: Luke Donald yearns for major win at Sandwich

The 140th Open Championship

Venue:
Royal St George's, Sandwich, Kent
Dates:
14-17 July
Coverage:
Live on BBC TV, HD, Red Button, online (UK only) and Radio 5 live; text commentary on BBC Sport website (#bbcgolf) and mobiles; watch again on iPlayer

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Donald longs for major win

Luke Donald knows he is in for a tough test as he aims to win his first major at the Open at Royal St George's.

The world number one, winner of the Scottish Open on Sunday, found the blustery conditions tough-going during Tuesday's practice at Sandwich.

Donald, 33, said the player who could "scramble best" and improvise this week may walk away with the Claret Jug.

"I think that's part of what you get when you come to links golf - you don't really know what you're going to get."

Donald, who shot his lowest European Tour round of 63 during the Scottish Open, said Royal St George's would prove a very tough, and unpredictable, test.

And while he said that becoming the world's top-ranked golfer earlier this year was a "good achievement", a victory at a major tournament would complete a boyhood dream.

"I've always wanted to win a major since I turned pro," Donald said, "even before that when I was growing up and watching some of my idols.

"It doesn't really change whether I'm ranked number one or number 100."

Also looking for his first major victory this weekend is fellow Englishman Lee Westwood.

The 38-year-old, has posted six top-three finishes in his last 13 major tournaments.

And despite having failed to win one, he is in confident mood ahead of the Open.

Westwood said: "My form is right where I'd like it to be [and] it would mean everything, really, to win the Open.

"I've been playing well just recently and had a good stretch of results. The form is pretty good, I'm happy with all aspects of my game."

Westwood, who has fond memories of Royal St George's having won there as an amateur in 1992, is regarded as one of the favourites for the tournament, despite .

And he certainly does not subscribe to the notion that he is getting too old to break his duck in major tournaments.

The Worksop golfer insisted: "I think it depends how fit you keep yourself and how mentally up for it you are.

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"You've got to want it still. I think that's the main thing."

Westwood is hoping the links course will play to his strengths, saying: "I like the course. Strategically it's a good golf course. You have to plan your way around it. It's not always driver off every tee, which is quite nice.

"We don't play [links courses] a lot now, maybe three times a year. [But] that is more than, say, American golfers or people playing on the PGA Tour would play it. They probably only play it once.

"Certainly growing up I played a lot of links golf. A lot of the boys' championships and English amateurs we played, and our winter nationals, we played on links golf courses.

"If you're brought up on that style of golf course it stays with you, the knack of playing it."

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Open from the air

BBC Radio 5 live will have a special preview programme at 1900 BST on Wednesday.

Watch BBC Sport's Open preview on BBC Two and online at 2320 BST on Wednesday.

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