Published July 20, 2012
| Sports Network
Lytham St. Annes, England – Luke Donald, the world's best golfer statistically, shot an impressive 2-under 68 on Friday at The Open Championship.
He moved to 2-under for the championship and is in the mix, although he's 8 behind leader Brandt Snedeker.
What made Donald's solid round even more impressive Friday is that he did it with a different caddie.
His regular looper, John McLaren, got a phone call from his wife early in the morning. She went into labor with the couple's first child and McLaren bounded off to London to be there.
"Hopefully all is going well. About 6.30 a.m. (local time) 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."
Donald didn't panic. He didn't have to go far to find McLaren's replacement.
Gareth Lord remained in Lytham St. Annes after his man, Robert Karlsson, withdrew before the tournament started.
"I've actually been sharing a house with John and Gareth, and when Robert pulled out he was available so it worked out well," said Donald.
There is great history between Donald and Lord.
Last year, Donald entered the Children's Miracle Network Classic on the PGA Tour. It was the final event of the year and Donald played to try and win the money title on the PGA Tour.
Lord was his caddie for the week. Donald won and became the first player to win the money race on both the PGA and European Tours in the same season.
Donald isn't sure when, or if, McLaren will return to work this week.
"We don't know how long these babies take but I told John to not rush," said Donald, a father of two himself. "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."
Donald has been the No. 1 player in the world, off and on, for almost a full year. He has not contended for a major championship in that time span -- nor, quite frankly, did he compete for one much before that.
"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," he said. "I'm certainly feeling more and more comfortable."
On top of the great round, at least Donald saved some money on McLaren Friday.
"I won't pay him for today, obviously, but, you know, he should be around for the birth."
A funny joke, but a serious job was well done, albeit differently.