Great to see English youngster Luke Donald make a flying start to his 2002 season on the US PGA Tour with an opening 69 in the Sony Open in Hawaii yesterday.
His one under par round, as 40mph trade winds buffeted the Waialae Country Club course near Honolulu, put him just four shots behind the leaders Kenny Perry and Chris Riley after the first round.
As a former top England international and Walker Cup player, Donald has been brought up in the hard school of seaside links golf where formative years are spent handling the vagaries of strong winds off the sea.
He proved he has the game to not only keep up with the Tour stars but out play them, especially when the conditions are far from ideal.
Jesper Parnevik, another good player in the wind, with his hands-ahead, low, punching style of play, also found the conditions to his liking with a 66.
Much of the credit must go to a new, shortened 43.5inch driver – similar to Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia – which has helped him to control the flight better.
Garcia, incidentally had a 71 and England’s other competitor, Ed Fryatt, a 75.