SURREY, ENGLAND |
“Luke Donald for King”
was the logo on a fan’s T-shirt behind Wen-
tworth’s 18th green. One week before the
Queen’s Golden Jubilee parade just up the road
in London, Donald enjoyed his own coronation.
His four-shot victory at the BMW PGA Champi-
onship became a victory parade. He is back to
world No. 1 and $950,000 richer.
Nearest rival Justin Rose briefly drew level
with Donald at the fourth but it simply inspired
Donald to show he is the finest player in the
game right now. He birdied two of the next
three holes and further
birdies at the 10th and
12th merely allowed
the bunting to be hung
up early to welcome him
to the 18th green.
Donald cruised to a final
round of 4-under-par 68.
His 15-under par winning total
made him just the third player to
successfully defend this championship.
He joins Nick Faldo in 1981 and Colin
Montgomerie in 2000. Donald was simply
regal in his royal blue, unflappable and
ice cool in the Wentworth heat wave. But
even he admitted to nerves.
“I felt some tension out there,” he
said. “It’s not easy going out with a lead
and trying to close out a tournament.
There are ups and downs. You would be
lying if you said you didn’t feel the pressure
You wouldn’t know it watching him and he
thanked his coach Dave Alred for the increas-
ing aura of invincibility that is beginning to Luke Donald
“It’s helped me be aware of my posture
and how I project that feeling of positiveness,”
Donald said. “It sends a message to whoever
I’m playing with.”
The message is getting through.
“It’s tough to play against a guy when he’s
holing bombs,” Rose said. “He’s certainly very
comfortable within himself. He doesn’t give
much away. It’s unbelievable the amount of
times he birdies the next hole after a bogey. You
can learn from how he goes about his game.
He’s the best.”
Donald was as classy off the course as he
was on it.
“Justin has the game for a U.S. Open.
I see a lot of great things coming from
him,” Donald said. “We would make a
great Ryder Cup partnership.”
Rose missed a five-footer at
the last, which meant he shared
second place with Paul Lawrie
who caught him at 11 under with
a birdie-birdie finish. Ernie Els
tied for seventh at 5 under and
apologized for his F-bomb blast
at the greens staff and cham-
pionship committee for not
watering the greens enough
before the third round. Tour
CEO George O’Grady said Els
made a “substantial contribu-
tion to the tour’s benevolent
trust.” He meant, “swear box.”
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