x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Delay in crowning the best harsh on world No 1

Organisers' decision to delay vote ballot to crown Luke Donald the PGA Player of the Year is harsh on the world No 1.

Luke Donald fully expected to be named the PGA Player of the Year this week, something which everyone else in golf thought would happen. But as Donald is someone who has spent much of the past 10 years feeling under-appreciated, the Englishman really should have known better.

A surprising last-minute rule change by tour organisers means the title is still up for grabs because they have extended the deadline for players to cast their votes.

The PGA announced on Tuesday they will count all the ballots after the end of the HSBC Champions tournament in Shanghai next month, something they have never done before. It is as if they do not want the world No 1 to win.

"I think the decision to add [the event] is sketchy at best.," Donald told EPSN Sports. "Why change the rule the day after Disney? It doesn't really make sense to me and I'm a bit disappointed."

Donald could, in theory, lose the title to Webb Simpson, the FedEx Cup winner, or Keegan Bradley, the US PGA Champion, if either win in Shanghai.

If that were to happen, it would be rough on Donald. He has been the best player on both tours this year by some distance and he probably will get enough votes from his peers.

It is hard not to feel that had just about anyone else been named the PGA money list winner on Sunday, as Donald was, then there would be no delay in handing over their Player of the Year title.

ncameron@thenational.ae