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Golf

Accenture Match Play European Player in Focus: Luke Donald

Brian Spurlock-US Presswire

Luke Donald beat Martin Kaymer to win the Accenture World Match Play in 2011 and has a good opportunity this week to join Tiger Woods and Geoff Ogilvy as multiple winners of the first World Golf Championship event of the season. Donald has dropped to number three in the world rankings which means he plays the number 62 seed Marcel Siem in the first round.

Donald is proven at the highest level but now needs to win a major championship to show himself to be one of the best players in the world. He became the first player to win both money titles in the United States and Europe in 2011, a feat matched by Rory McIlroy last season.

The English player has now represented Europe in four Ryder Cups and has been on the winning side on each occasion. He also has extensive match play experience as an amateur, including representing Great Britain and Ireland in two Walker Cups against the United States, both won.

Donald has won 14 professional titles in total on three global Tours. His best finish in a major was tied third in the 2005 US Masters and 2006 US PGA Championship. His strike rate of top 10 finishes is ordinary for a player of his ability and he has missed the cut in 12 of his 38 major championship appearances

After the majors the most prestigious tournaments are the World Golf Championship events. They attract the strongest fields outside the majors and Player’s Championship and always produce a worthy winner. The Accenture event is now the most important individual match play tournament in the season.

Donald has competed in 27 WGC tournaments and won one, the match play event two years ago. He has finished inside the top ten seven times in the stroke play events and his best finish has been tied third in the HSBC Champions of 2010. Donald is a proven match play golfer. His lack of length is offset by his course management skills and a temperament that makes him well suited to this format of the sport.