Sunday, 22 July 2012
Luke Donald   (Getty Images)
Luke Donald (Getty Images)

World Number One Luke Donald recorded his third top-11 Open Championship finish in four years as he ended the week at Royal Lytham & St Annes joint fifth with Graeme McDowell.

The 34 year old, who topped both the Race to Dubai last year and US PGA Tour Money List, shot a final round 69 to finish two under, five strokes behind Champion Ernie Els.

It was well short of getting anywhere near threatening the lead on the last day and the ultra-consistent Englishman, whose best score at Royal Lytham was Friday's 68, had to put his ambitions of making his Major breakthrough on home soil on hold again.

"I think it would be fantastic to win one here," said Donald, who missed the cut at Royal St George's 12 months ago but had joint-11th and joint-fifth placings in the previous two years.

"Even being somewhat in contention, having the crowd really behind me, is a special feeling.

"There's nothing quite like walking down 18 with the crowds cheering you on and really behind you.

"I can only imagine what that would be like with a one-shot lead - and hopefully I'll have that opportunity one day."

Donald felt his putting prevented him from making a serious challenge at Royal Lytham.

But having missed the cut at last month's US Open, the Englishman was much happier with the majority of his game.

"It was one of those where it could have been really special, I did a lot of good things," he added.

"It could have been four or five better with a few putts but I'll take a lot of positives away from this week.

"Certainly I'll leave this week knowing my game is definitely good enough to win majors.

"It's a big step forward for me from a few weeks back. I felt a lot more comfortable in terms of my game coming into this week as opposed to the US Open.

"Sometimes you learn a lot by playing poorly like I did at the US Open and not living up to my expectations.

"I certainly was very anxious and didn't do a good job on the mental side so this week was a huge improvement in terms of that.

"I'll come away from here with a lot of confidence."

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