x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

World No 1 Luke Donald makes a strong case for less power in golf

The Englishman, who has had so much success this year, proves the sport is not one-dimensional.

Luke Donald, teeing off on the fifth hole during the pro-am round before the Australian Masters in Melbourne on Wednesday, capped off a great season by being named the PGA Tour Player of the Year.
Luke Donald, teeing off on the fifth hole during the pro-am round before the Australian Masters in Melbourne on Wednesday, capped off a great season by being named the PGA Tour Player of the Year.

Luke Donald, already the undisputed world No 1 on the golf course, is now also the No 1 in the eyes of his fellow PGA Tour players.

Donald capped off a sensational season this week by being named the PGA Tour Player of the Year, the most significant of the post-season awards because it is a vote of the players. He became the first British player to win the award since it began in 1990.

"It's a great honour to cap off what has been an amazing year for me," Donald said from the Australian Masters in Melbourne.

"Thank you to all the players for their votes.

"There was obviously some other worthy people to vote for, and I guess my overall consistency and having to go to Disney and win, and win the money list like I did, was a deciding factor.

"I feel very honoured at the moment."

Donald won the award over Keegan Bradley, Bill Haas, Webb Simpson and Nick Watney. An official familiar with the results described it as a landslide. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the tour does not release the votes or the order in which the players finished.

Bradley, whose two wins included the PGA Championship, was voted the Rookie of the Year.

It was only the fifth time in the past two decades that the PGA Tour Player of the Year did not win a major. Even so, Donald made a compelling case, especially at the end of the year. He won two tournaments, as many as anyone else this year.

He won the Vardon Trophy for the lowest adjusted scoring average. He had top 10s in 14 of the 19 tournaments he played, a rate of consistency only Tiger Woods has known in this era.

"I think in the last 10 or 20 years, the power game has really taken control of golf," said Donald.

"But I think I've been a little bit of a breath of fresh air knowing that's not the only way you can be successful. Through a good short game, good putting, managing your game, you can be successful in other ways.

"I think I've proven that quite considerably this year."