Luke Donald climbing back up golf’s mountain at Valspar Championship


Spain's Elvira Nacho reclaimed his place atop the leader board by posting a six-under-par 66 to snatch the outright third round lead.

Casey, the defending champion, finds himself trapped in that scenario because of what happened on the final hole Saturday at the Innisbrook Resort's Copperhead Course in Palm Harbor, Fla. I'm thankful that I feel good and healthy and ready for a weekend. "I was patient for the most part and aggressive when I had opportunities".

Bhatia (76-72) bogeyed his last two holes for a 72 and finished at 4-over 146 to miss the cut. It was the centerpiece of a resurgence for Casey, a 41-year-old from England who is back among the top 15 in the world.

"Disappointing on nine", Casey said.

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Donald spent 56 weeks as the No. 1 ranked player in the world, a spot he first assumed in 2011 when he became the first player in history to win both the PGA Tour money list and the European Tour's Race to Dubai. 'For whatever reason I struggled a little bit round Sawgrass and that frustrated me, annoyed me, (ahead of) coming in here trying to defend my title which I'd love to do because I've never defended a professional title. These are very, very hard greens, but that's the way I kind of like them. "This is, tomorrow's going to be highly entertaining for me". The win came at the 2009 Houston Open with a bogey on the first playoff hole to beat American J.B. Holmes.

The Luke Donald who's in contention this week at the Valspar Championship is a far cry from the player who was once atop the golfing world.

But the British star has taken back-to-back titles multiple times as an amateur.

"Of the guys on the leaderboard, he's the one I would want to be paired with, so it doesn't bother me", Casey said. "Nice to turn it around after last week to suddenly be not in control of this event but I m near the top, which is good". I've got one of those trophies. But it's not as much sort of urgency or pressure.

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Donald had five birdies and four bogeys in his one-under 70, surrendering a one-shot lead with two bogeys in his last four holes.

But Casey's lone bogey came on his closing ninth hole, finding bunkers with his first two shots and missing a six-footer for par.

Johnson fired his 14th consecutive round in the 60s, the longest such run of his career or by any tour player this season. But on the final hole, after Johnson made his birdie, Casey went into the first of a series of miniature church-pew bunkers on the 18th, couldn't get to the green and missed his 15-foot par putt.

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So I understand the deep offence Australians would be feeling about this. "I think it's our job here, Alan, not to escalate this". An FFA spokesperson told Goal: "Football Federation Australia is aware of the situation and will continue to monitor it closely".