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It was Alred who reminded Donald that of his 12 holes he played over par at the Masters, he bounced back with a birdie six times. Such data is now in a diary that Alred has asked Donald to keep. And it was Alred who, in an interview with the BBC last year, referred to Donald as an assassin on the golf course.

“It’s one shot, one opportunity and you need to hit right between the eyes because you don’t get a second chance,” Alred said.

Put it all together, and something is going very right for Donald.

“He has a lot of belief in what he’s doing and how he’s preparing,” Goss said.

Along the way, Donald has accepted that he will never be one of the game’s power hitters, and what he has is ample. It was after his 2006 season, when he played in the final group at a major for the first time, that he began chasing extra length.

“I thought to myself that I had to hit it further,” Donald said. “My coach never thought that. He thought I had enough in me. But week in and week out I was being outdriven, and all the bombers were winning, and I convinced myself I had to get longer. I think that’s part of the reason I got injured. It’s part of the reason my swing got in a place I didn’t like.”

Donald finally felt a pop in his wrist at the 2008 U.S. Open and wound up missing the second half of the season, along with the Ryder Cup at Valhalla. The upside to that: He still hasn’t played on a losing Ryder Cup team.

He was working his way back into shape when his best finish at a major in 2009 _ a tie for fifth at the British Open _ produced harsh criticism of his work ethic. An American writer, in a story published in a British newspaper, questioned his effort and motivation and referred to such players as having “Luke Donald Disease.”

“I can honestly tell you, it was the first time I saw the media affect him,” Goss said. “Most times with a negative article, he lets it pass in one ear and out the other. But this was a Sunday paper in London. He’s proud of his English heritage. And that stung. It was discouraging, because it couldn’t have been further from the truth.”

Donald has been working harder than ever, especially on his short game. He ranks No. 1 on the PGA Tour in scoring and putting, and he is No. 3 in scoring on par 5s, a testament to his wedge play.

“I think he’s probably the best in the world in the short game at the moment,” Martin Kaymer said after losing to Donald in the Match Play final. “I played with Phil Mickelson a few times and it is unbelievable. But what Luke is doing at the moment is a joke.”

If Donald had access to Twitter in Shanghai last year, when he tied for third in a World Golf Championship, he might have chuckled over a tweet from Joe Ogivlie, who was astonished to see him in contention so often.

“Does anyone know where I can get the ‘Luke Donald‘ disease?”

(This version CORRECTS spelling to Jonny)