NEVER HAS THERE BEEN A BETTER TIME
to be Luke Donald. He’s young and wealthy. He has a
gorgeous spouse and two beautiful children, one of
them brand new. He’s an accomplished artist and has a
wine label with his name on it.
And he’s the No. 1 golfer in the world and has
been for more than half the year. He’s the leading
money winner on the PGA Tour in 2011 and the freshly
crowned winner of the European Tour Race To Dubai.
No one in history has led both Tours’ money lists in the
Donald is truly a global player, winning this year in
Arizona, England, Scotland and Florida, demonstrating
an uncanny ability to capture championships in markedly different environments. It’s his high standard of
excellence all over the world that leads to his choice as
Global Golf Post’s first male Player of the Year.
Donald won four times worldwide – the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, BMW PGA
Championship, The Barclays Scottish Open and the
Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic. It was
the latter that secured him the PGA Tour money list.
Webb Simpson had overtaken Donald for the money
lead with a playoff loss at the McGladrey Classic and
Donald immediately entered the Children’s Miracle
Network Hospitals Classic, knowing that he had to
win the event to take the money title. He shot a final-round 64 to come from behind and not only capture
the championship, but the hearts and minds of the
voters for PGA Tour Player of the Year.
And while carrying with him the raw emotions of the
circle of life – the death of his father, Colin, followed
within days by the birth of Luke and Diane’s second
child – Donald’s third-place finish at the Dubai World
Championship ensured that he would not be overtaken
for the Race To Dubai crown.
With a shot here or putt there, it could have been a
monster year. He lost in a playoff at The Heritage, lost
in the final of the Volvo World Match Play and tied for
second at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. He tied
for third at The Tour Championship and Deutsche Bank
Championship and tied for fourth at The Masters and
The Players Championship.
While it’s true that he didn’t win a major champion-
ship, he did nearly everything but.
“I’ve met most of my expectations and exceeded
them probably. I don’t think getting to No. 1 and holding
onto it and extending my lead and winning four times
now, you know, obviously that’s a pretty good year,”
“I didn’t expect to play quite that well. But as a
player, you always feel that you can do more than you
actually are doing. You know, I always believed that
I had the ability to have a year like this. There were
times where I didn’t have my best golf but I still contended, and that excites me for next year. If I can just
sharpen up a little bit here and there, obviously more of
those will turn into wins.
“Obviously, the only disappointing part of the year I
suppose is not winning a major. But I’ll keep persever-
ing and giving myself opportunities.”
And when opportunity knocks, Donald will certainly
be more than prepared to throw open the door.