'Chicago boy' Donald hoping to win over home support at Cup
13:05 GMT, 22 September 2012
Home sweet home – many people think it could be the deciding factor in the Ryder Cup this coming week. But it is not only the Americans who aim to make the most of it at Medinah in Chicago.
Luke Donald hopes it might work in his favour too.
Donald has lived in the 'Windy City' since his college days and said: 'I'm excited to have it come to a place that I've kind of considered home the last 15 years.
Windy city: Donald has lived in Chicago since his college days
'If I can drag away even just 1 per cent of the crowd's support on to my side or the European's side then it's an advantage.
'The biggest advantage for any team is playing at home. If I can just take a little bit of that away then I'm helping the team in a small way.'
What Donald has mostly been hearing from friends in the area is, not surprisingly, that they will be supporting him, but still wanting America to win.
'That's what I hear a lot,' he added. 'I think the people of Chicago are looking forward to it. They're a big sport city and it should be a fun event.'
In terms of his own performance the 34-year-old English star will be delighted if his cup record is continued.
That's handy: Donald made his Ryder Cup debut in 2004
Donald made his debut as a Bernhard Langer wild card in Detroit in 2004 and in three appearances has been on three winning teams. He missed the 2008 match in Louisville because of injury.
The former world No 1 has won eight and lost only two of his 11 games, and in foursomes is a perfect six out of six.
Sergio Garcia was his partner for the first four of those, but at Celtic Manor he also had success first with Ian Poulter and then with Lee Westwood – 6&5 over Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker no less.
All three of those partners are part of Jose Maria Olazabal's line-up, so how Donald is used remains to be seen.
Fourballs has been a different story. On his first appearance he halved with Paul McGinley, but then was left out of the second session, while 2006 captain Ian Woosnam did not use Donald at all in the better-ball format.
In Wales, meanwhile, he lost with Padraig Harrington on the opening morning and that was his only fourball game once the schedule was changed because of bad weather.
Donald had still to top the world rankings at that stage and team-mates Westwood, Rory McIlroy and Martin Kaymer not had done so either. Now all four have had at least one spell as No 1 and with winning experiences in the Ryder Cup as well, Olazabal's side enter the lion's den at Medinah believing it is well within their capabilities to retain the trophy.
It is a course Donald knows well, not just from his residence, but also because he was third in the 2006 USPGA Championship.
He shared the lead with Tiger Woods with a round to go and even came out for their head-to-head with a matching red shirt, but Woods easily repeated his 1999 victory over the same layout.
'The course is coming into good condition,' Donald said. 'The fairways were struggling six weeks ago, but they're much improved and will be decent playing surfaces.
'The greens are in great shape. They've set it up where there's no rough around the greens and hardly any off the tee. As long as it's not cold and rainy, which it could be, I think you'll see a lot of birdies.
'It will make for a fun, exciting Ryder Cup. There are going to be a lot of people chipping in.'