Donald on a charge despite losing expectant-father caddie at 11th hour
15:29 GMT, 20 July 2012
World No 1 Luke Donald made light of losing his expectant-father caddie for the day to shoot a round of 68 and move to two under at The Open.
Early on the morning of the second day regular bagman John McLaren received a call from his wife telling him she had gone into labour with his first child.
Donald immediately sent McLaren on his way to London but had a ready-made replacement already in the house they are sharing as Gareth Lord had remained in Lytham after Robert Karlsson withdrew from the tournament on Wednesday.
On the bag: Donald lines up his putt with replacement caddie Gareth Lord
The pair have worked together before, when the Englishman won the 2011 Children's Miracle Network Classic at Disney World in Florida, and they seamlessly re-established their partnership.
'Hopefully all is going well. About 6.30am he came in and I saw he was up a little early so thought it might be time,' said Donald.
'She was due on Wednesday so she was trying to hold on as long as possible.
In trouble: Donald thinned his chip into the long rough on 13
'I've actually been sharing a house with John and Gareth, and when Robert pulled out he was available so it worked out well and obviously I've got some history with Lordy, having caddied for me at Disney, so it was an easy transition.
'We'll see how long (McLean is absent). We don't know how long these babies take but I told John to not rush.
'For me that was an important thing in my life to be around for that, especially your first one, and enjoy that experience.
'But I know what he's like. He's very passionate about his job, as well, and he'll get back here when he's ready.'
Home favourite: Donald is searching for his first major
And Donald joked: 'I won't pay him for today, obviously, but, you know, he should be around for the birth.'
Despite being dominant in the rankings and on both the European and United States money lists Donald is still searching for his first major.
Having bogeyed the third to drop to one over the 34-year-old then carded four birdies in the next five holes as he turned in 31.
Further shots were dropped on 10 and 13, the latter when he thinned a wedge through the green into thick rough and had to take a penalty drop, but a birdie at the 15th took him back to two under.
Having missed the cut in his first five Opens Donald has now made six of the last seven and believes he is well positioned to make a move over the weekend.
'I'm certainly feeling more and more comfortable,' he said.
'It's nice to string a couple of solid rounds together in a major.
'Obviously where I am in my career I need to be contending and this was a good solid two rounds and I'm looking forward to the weekend.'