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Golf Australia Express : Issue 19
Don’t take our word for it—the stats say it all. From 27 events worldwide this season the uber-confident Donald finished inside the top 10 on 19 occasions, earning 531 ranking points—a whopping 170 more than closest rival Rory McIlroy—in the process. He won four events worldwide—two on each major tour— had three runner-ups and three third placings. The consistent year was best highlighted by his putting. For a stretch, Donald went 449 holes without a three-putt until the 16th hole during the first round of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in October. That’s nearly 25 rounds without a three-jab. Remarkable. And despite his critics’ protests, Donald will have held onto the No.1 ranking for a total of 31 weeks at year’s end—the longest streak since Tiger’s reign began in 1997. On Sunday, Donald’s told-you-so grin got ever so wider when he entered the history books by becoming the first player ever to top both the US and European tours’ money lists in the same season. But what often seems to get overlooked—particularly with comparisons to Tiger’s previous feats—is that Donald managed all these things on a heavy worldwide schedule. That in itself must have been incredibly taxing. Yet despite enduring long flights back-and- forth from Europe to the US, Donald proved himself to be just as clutch as the former world No.1, highlighted by his 40-foot bomb at the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic in October. That putt completed a streak of six consecutive birdies that secured him the win and—more importantly—the PGA money list from challenger Webb Simpson. There’s little doubt that Luke Donald is a deserved world No.1. Even less that his reign at the top will continue. And with the form Donald’s shown us all in the latter part of 2011, it’s no wonder critics have been so quiet of late. Expect them to stay silent for some time yet. OTG WORLD NO.1 DONALD IS A FAVOURITE TO TAKE OUT THIS YEAR’S PGA TOUR PLAYER OF THE YEAR TITLE. SEE WHAT HIS PEERS THINK OF GOLF’S TOP DOG COURTESY OF PGATOUR.COM