World Number One Luke Donald is refusing to get carried away by his sensational run of form ahead of this week’s US Open Championship, but admits he is confident of putting himself in contention for glory at Congressional Country Club.
Donald has displayed admirable consistency in recent months and victory at last month’s BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth lifted him to the top of the World Golf Rankings for the first time in his career.
However, the Englishman insists he will not fall victim to complacency as he looks to break his Major Championship duck.
“It's dangerous to go and expect too much and come to a tournament expecting to win,” Donald explained. “But I expect to do what I know I can do and obviously the goal is always to have a chance on Sunday and to contend.
“I've been doing that a lot lately, and there's no reason why I can't do it this week.
“I came here a week ago Monday and the course was playing great. It's changed a little bit. The greens are a little bit firmer and faster, but I like the way it's been set up.
“The rough is manageable. I like the fact that there's some variants around the greens in terms of run-off areas and some of the grass around the bunkers isn't knee high. It really is playing very well.
“It's a tough test. The back nine, especially, is a very tough challenge. But I think it's fair. It's set up very well right now.”
Victory at Wentworth represented a second success for Donald this year after he also triumphed at the WGC - Accenture Match Play Championship in February.
A number of other trophies, including the Volvo World Match Play Championship, have narrowly eluded the 33-year-old, yet he remains understandably upbeat.
“If you're not in contention, you don't have a chance to win, so the first goal is to get in contention and have that chance and I've obviously done a great job of that,” he said.
“Certainly I could look back and think that I could have turned a couple of those seconds into victories, for sure. But overall it's been a very satisfying few months.
“I've played extremely well. I've given myself lots of opportunities and I have taken a couple of them. If I was sitting here winless, yes, it would be a different story, but I've picked up a couple of trophies.”
Donald believes his continual desire to improve has been the key factor in his rise to the game’s summit.
“A lot of people have asked what I have done differently, and (the answer is) not a lot really,” he said.
“I think the better I’ve become, the harder I’ve worked, for sure. But nothing has really changed. I still have the basic premise of just trying to compete and continually improve.
“I wouldn’t say I’ve changed anything. I don’t really like the word change. I’ve just tried to make what I have just a little bit better every day, just trying to get in that mindset that there’s no real limits and that you can improve on anything going forward.
“You just go back to every day just trying to figure out what I need to improve on, whether it’s driving in the fairway more, hitting more greens in regulation, getting up and down more. I look at the stats, I figure out what I need to improve on and kind of work at it.”
Donald tees off at 8:06am tomorrow in the company of his nearest rivals for the World Number One Ranking, Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer, with the latter having recently hired Donald’s brother Christian as his caddie.
“It’s good to see that my brother got picked up again by one of the great players,” Luke added. “All credit to what people think about my brother as a caddie.
“I think it’s a good group. Obviously I’m friendly with Lee and Martin and the caddies. Other than Martin, there’s five English guys there, so we have a lot to chat about.”