Imagine Golf Blogs

Under Pressure?

Strain will be on Rory rather than Luke this week

Posted Jul 14, 2011 by Chris White

Luke Donald goes into this weeks Open as world number one

With the Open getting under way this week, Luke Donald heads the rankings and is in great form, so you would expect that the pressure would be on him to perform and become the first English winner since Sir Nick Faldo, but, is their more pressure on the new US Open champion than the current world number one?

Rory McIlroy has become the star of British golf in recent months, despite the world rankings featuring two Englishmen in the top two positions – Donald and Lee Westwood – and the focus of the media will undoubtedly be on him. There was a good old fashioned media scrum on Tuesday as the media forced their way into McIlroy’s press conference ahead of this week’s contest at Royal St George’s.

When the young Northern Irishman moved into his chair behind all the microphones, it looked just like his media session after his win at the Congressional, only there was no trophy by his side this time, instead, there were the expectations and hopes of British golf fans from every corner of the British Isles, and the focus of the rest of the world’s media.

Donald, on the other hand, is seeming to have all the pressure of the status of being the world number one taken off him by McIlroy – which is nice of him don’t you think! The Englishman won the rain-affected Scottish Open last week, and is set to make his own bit of history if he does win at Sandwich, by becoming the first player to win both the Scottish Open and the British Open in the same week.

I wouldn’t say that all the pressure is off Luke Donald, and completely heaped on Rory, but in previous years, the focus has been on the world number one as you enter a major event. This year just seems to be a bit different with people choosing to focus on the rising star instead. Fortunately, Rory can handle the pressure of the fans and the media now, unlike at his disastrous final round at the Masters, and will not be overly fazed as he enters the Open Championship this year.

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