LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA // Luke Donald revelled in one of the best wins of his career yesterday after mounting a final-day surge to clinch the PGA Tour money list title by a whisker.
Donald played arguably the greatest round of his life to overhaul a five-stoke deficit to the leaders and claim victory at the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic in Florida.
Starting the day in joint 14th but knowing a win would likely see him overhaul Webb Simpson, the US golfer, on the money list, the English world No 1 shot a 10-birdie 64 to emerge with an unlikely triumph.
Playing partner Simpson finished the tournament four shots behind Donald.
"This is one of the most satisfying wins of my career," Donald said. "Everything was on the line. I'm thrilled and over the moon."
Donald, who had six successive birdies from the 10th, led by two when he finished, but second-placed Nick O'Hern, Justin Leonard and Kevin Chappell had three holes to go.
But O'Hern had two bogeys, Chappell one and when Leonard failed to hole his approach to the last, Donald knew he was No 1 on more than just the world rankings.
He won with a 17 under par total of 271.
It was Donald's first stroke play victory on United States soil in over five years and it gives him a great chance to become the first player to top the money lists on both sides of the Atlantic in the same season.
In the Race to Dubai he leads by over €1 million (Dh5.1m), but there are eight events left, including the season-ending Dubai World Championship on December 8-11, he will be missing some of those because his wife, Diane, is expecting their second child in the next two weeks.
Simpson, playing with Donald for the fourth day in a row, shared top spot himself for a while but three-putted the short 15th after Donald had made a 45-footer and with a 69 was in sixth.
Nothing worse than a two-way tie for second would have done for Donald. If that was where he finished Simpson had to be in the top 21 to deny him, but if Donald was runner-up on his own Simpson had to be eighth.
Donald's win meant Simpson had to finish in second place to deny the Englishman, but it was not to be.
"I thought my chance might have gone," Donald said. "But I was saying that I hadn't got on a run and what better time than the back nine on Sunday?
"It's nice to do it under pressure when I needed to."
The US$531,000 Donald pocketed for winning in Florida took his total for the year to US$4.19m, with Simpson finishing on $3.98m.