With everyone in Professional Golf looking forward to the 2013 season, and the anticipated match-ups between World Number One, Rory McIlroy, and World Number Three, Tiger Woods, little is ever said about World Number Two, Luke Donald. Although Donald couldn’t repeat his success from 2011, he did in all respects, have a pretty good year in 2012.
Much has been said and written about Rory McIlroy’s accomplishments this year. He finished at the top of both tours, money lists, won the Race To Dubai, and won the Vardon Trophy for having the lowest scoring average. So what…Luke Donald did all of that last year. The only thing he didn’t do in 2011, was win the season ending DP World Championship at Dubai. In fact, Luke Donald was the the first in history to accomplish such a feat.
After spending some time as the world number one in 2012, alternating with McIlroy who went through some missed cuts during the midseason, Donald finished his season in second place after finishing third at Dubai. He finished in seventh place in Race to Dubai points for the year.
Donald splits his time almost in half between both tours. he played in 17 events on the PGA Tour, making 15 cuts and earning just over $3.5 Million Dollars. He picked up a win at the Transitions Championship in March at Innisbrook, with three top 3′s and eight top 10′s. On the European Tour, his best finishes were a third place at the BMW Masters, and the third place tie in Dubai.
Luke Donald’s performance at the Ryder Cup was stellar. He was part of the comeback on Saturday afternoon by helping Sergio Garcia defeat Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker 1 up. Then being the first out on Sunday to beat Bubba Watson 2 & 1. I think that first match set the tone for what happened, and am convinced Team Europe Captain Jose Maria Olazabal knew he would get a good effort out of Donald when he made out the line up card.
Donald has all the tools to compete for Major Championships every year, but his length off the tee is his achilles heel. He is currently 170th in driving distance on the PGA Tour, with an accuracy of 37%. The remainder of his game is very good. He has a great short game, and is an excellent putter. He finished tied for 5th place at the Open Championship, but didn’t fare to well at the other three majors with a T32 at the Masters, a missed cut at the US Open, and another T32 at Kiawah Island in September.
Donald turned pro in 2001 after graduating from Northwestern University, and currently lives in the Chicago area. He was born in Hemel Hempstead, England, and still maintains a home in Wycombe,England. He is 35 years old, and is married with two children. I am looking forward to watching him play in 2013, but as always, his driver will keep him from wining at the courses that demand length off of the tee, and he will make up ground on the finese courses. And as usual, he will be around the leaders on both tours when the season ends.
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