Donald wants Wentworth ‘spark’

Donald first became world number one by beating Lee Westwood in a play-off for the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth in 2011 and he successfully defended the European Tour’s flagship event 12 months later.

The 37-year-old also finished second in 2010 and third last year, but has struggled to produce that form on a consistent basis and comes into this week’s event ranked 60th in the world.

The top 60 on Monday will qualify for the US Open and the top 50 gain entry to the Open Championship, events Donald has missed just once, through injury, since 2005.

“You always enjoy coming back to where you have had a lot of success and some of my best successes have been here,” Donald said.

“Hopefully it will spark me to get this season started a little bit. Coming back to a place where you play well always helps.”

Donald switched coaches at the end of 2013 in an attempt to become more consistent off the tee, but the partnership with Chuck Cook only lasted a year before he went back to long-time coach Pat Goss.

“The last few weeks I got in some good focused practice and I feel I am on the right path again,” Donald added. “It has not been great the last year from going through a swing change and then going back, it’s been difficult, but my focus is in the right position and hopefully that will transpire to some good results.

“In hindsight I would not have changed but I feel I am back on the right path now.”

As one of the game’s shorter hitters, Donald would not immediately appear to be suited by a Wentworth course which measures 7,302 yards, but the former Ryder Cup star believes the layout does play to some of his strengths.

“Even though it has some length at 7,300 yards and the weather is usually not that warm so the course plays long, some of these holes take driver out of your hand,” he added.

“You can’t just stand up there and hit driver, it’s a position golf course in that respect. And any time you have deep bunkers and need to have a good short game suits me.

“I have heard rumours the governing bodies are thinking about the golf ball and trying to bring it back a bit. Some courses should favour the big hitters but some should favour the short hitters as well.

“It has become very much a power player’s game.”