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Golf Australia Express : Issue 15
THEY SAY Disney is where dreams come true. And that was certainly the case for world No.1 Luke Donald on Sunday as he overran the field to win the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic at Disney’s Magnolia course in Florida. Donald’s second PGA Tour win of the season secured the 33-year-old top spot on the PGA Tour money list and opened the door to become the first player in history to hold that spot on both the PGA and European tours at season’s end. Donald’s final round 8-under 64 and 17-under tournament score was set up with a remarkable six consecutive birdies at the start of his back nine in one of the most dominating displays of golf all season. That birdie-streak was capped off with a stunning 45-foot putt on 15. The Englishman started the final round five strokes back only to close the event two shots ahead of a much-improved runner-up in former British Open winner Justin Leonard DONALD’S DISNEY FAIRYTALE at 15-under. But the real duel of the week was between Donald and American Webb Simpson, who were battling it out for the Tour’s money list title. The duo played all four rounds together in an intriguing head-to-head contest, with Donald ultimately claiming the $846,000 first prize to finish the season with more than $6.6 million in prizemoney, and ahead of Webb by $335,861. Simpson finished the event witha69tograbashareof sixth place. He needed to finish in lone second to deny Donald the title. “Obviously I came here and I told you guys on Wednesday that the goal was to win,” Donald said. “Nothing was really going to be good enough other than that. I think this is probably one of the most satisfying wins of my career just because of that. It was kind of do or die.” Donald said the win should keep his critics quiet for a while. “I think I’ve answered everyone’s questions. “Obviously coming into this week I felt like Webb was probably favourite, you know, based on he was ahead of me on the money list and he was ahead of me in wins this year. “Obviously, I’ve drawn level on wins and I’ve gotten ahead on money. Feel like I’ve answered all the questions thrown at me.” The Brit’s schedule is not yet over, heading to Sun City, Dubai and Australia in successive weeks before year’s end. But for the moment, Donald’s going to sit back and reflect on what was a remarkable win and year on the PGA Tour. “Disney is a special place. I suppose if I ever have to bring the children back here, at least it’ll have some good memories for me—even if I’m having to wait in all those lines.” OTG FINAL STANDINGS 1 LUKE DONALD ENG -17 $ 846,000 2 JUSTIN LEONARD USA -15 $ 507,600 T3 TOM PERNICE JR USA -14 $ 244,400 T3 SUNGHOON KANG KOR -14 $ 244,400 T3 KEVIN CHAPPELL USA -14 $ 244,400 T6 JOHN ROLLINS USA -13 $ 147,110 T6 WEBB SIMPSON USA -13 $ 147,110 T6 TREVOR IMMELMAN RSA -13 $ 147,110 T6 NICK O’HERN AUS -13 $ 147,110 T6 BILLY MAYFAIR USA -13 $ 147,110 WRAP THE WHAT JUST HAPPENED ON THE PGA TOUR