GOLF

Donald hires new coach to resurrect past success

After dropping to 13th in rankings, former world number one turns to Chuck Cook for tips

PUBLISHED : Friday, 13 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 13 September, 2013, 5:22am

A quest for consistency prompted Luke Donald to make a difficult coaching change, one the Englishman hopes can help salvage his US PGA Tour play-off campaign.

The former world number one has slipped to 13th in the standings and went into the BMW Championship yesterday at 54th in the US tour's play-off rankings.

It's been very hard this year. But I feel pretty good about where things are headed and I'm excited about the future. This year I still have time to rescue it

Only the top 30 after this week's US$8 million tournament at Conway Farms Golf Club - where Donald is a member - will advance to the season-ending Tour Championship. "I think someone who was at the pinnacle of the game not too long ago and is now 54th on the FedEx Cup, it's been disappointing," Donald said.

"It's been very hard this year. But I feel pretty good about where things are headed and I'm excited about the future. This year I still have time to rescue it ... I certainly have that opportunity this week."

Donald said he was impressed with the consistency compatriot Justin Rose displayed on his way to winning the US Open title, and really started considering the possibility of changing coaches after missing the cut at the British Open.

He admitted it was a wrench to part with Pat Goss, who recruited him to play at Northwestern University in the 1990s and has coached him since. But he hopes the move to Chuck Cook will play quick dividends.

"I've had a lot of success with Pat, and I got to number one and certainly would never take anything away from what we did together," Donald said.

"But as a player, you always know what you feel inside and I want to just feel a little bit more in control of my ball when I'm over it. Hopefully the switch to Chuck, that will come about."

Donald first approached Sean Foley, the man who helped Tiger Woods rebuild his swing and who currently coaches Rose and Hunter Mahan.

Foley wasn't sure he'd be able to put in as much time as Donald wanted and suggested Cook.

Donald and Cook started working together at the PGA Championship, won by Cook-coached Jason Dufner.

"I'm hopefully going to be a bit more consistent tee to green and be able to control the trajectory and the line," Donald said. "That's the goal, and so far I'm seeing results."