Donald and new caddie combine for a 68

TONY JIMENEZ
Last updated 10:44 21/07/2012
Luke Donald
Getty Images
CHANGE: Luke Donald speaks with new caddie Gareth Lord.

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Luke Donald fired a second-round 68 at the British Open on Friday alongside a new caddie after giving regular bagman John McLaren the day off to attend the birth of his first child.

The world number one was accompanied by Gareth Lord who normally works with Swede Robert Karlsson, a late withdrawal from the championship.

''We'll see how long John is,'' Donald told reporters after moving to the fringes of contention on two-under 138, eight behind leader Brandt Snedeker of the United States.

''We don't know how long these babies take but I told John not to 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.''

Donald said he was sharing a house with Lord and McLaren this week.

''About 6.30 this morning John came in and I saw he was up a little early so I thought it might be time,'' said Donald.

''She was due on Wednesday and was trying to hold on as long as possible.

''But you can't forgive him. I won't pay him for today, obviously, but he should be around for the birth.''

Donald teamed up with Lord to win last year's Disney Classic in Florida, firing a superb final-round 64 to secure top spot on the PGA Tour money-list.

The Ryder Cup player may be a long way off the lead but he still fancies his chances of making a push for the title over the weekend.

''I've played with Brandt a number of times, I don't know if he's just making bombs from everywhere or he's hitting it close,'' said Donald who wielded a hot putter on Friday and picked up four birdies in a five-hole burst from the fourth.

''But if you are on, you can make some birdies around here. With the wind not really pumping too much and soft greens, if you're feeling good about your game you can make some birdies.

''Obviously he's doing something that not a lot of people are doing and hats off to him,'' added Donald.

''But he's that kind of a streaky player. He gets on a roll, he gets in a groove and he's hard to stop.''

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- Reuters

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