Monday, March 07, 2011

Donald's delight in February

Englishman Luke Donald has been named European Tour Golfer of the Month for February following his convincing victory in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship at Ritz Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain, Arizona, Tucson. Donald, 33, who was never behind in any of his six matches, displayed a showcase of fine match play golf, a format in which he has excelled since his amateur years. The 33-year-old from High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, receives an engraved alms dish and a jeroboam of Moët and Chandon champagne in recognition of his achievement.Donald did not play the 18th hole once as he saw off American Charley Hoffman, Italians Edoardo Molinari and Matteo Manassero, Ryan Moore and Matt Kuchar, both of the United States, to set up a mouth-watering final against 2010 Ryder Cup team-mate Martin Kaymer. Despite it being only his second event of the year, Donald’s impressively accurate short game and exquisite touch around the greens were in evidence as he beat the German, who the day before had officially become the new World Number One. It was Donald’s fourth victory on The European Tour International Schedule – and first in a World Golf Championship event – and it propelled him from ninth to a career-high third in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind Kaymer and Lee Westwood and one ahead of Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell. “I’m very pleased and proud to have won this award, especially considering the incredible talent competing for the honour,” said Donald. “I was delighted with my recent win at the WGC-Accenture World Match Play and I look forward to building on that early-season victory for a strong season.” Donald’s record in match play is magnificent and in Arizona he showed just why he is one of the world’s most feared opponents in the format. Last October he won three points from four in The 2010 Ryder Cup, continuing his 100% record in the contest, having won in 2004 and 2006. In total, he has played 11 Ryder Cup matches, won eight, halved one and lost two.It was another fine month of performances on The European Tour for the judges to consider, and the panel commended Thomas Björn, winner of the Commercialbank Qatar Masters presented by Dolphin Energy, Alvaro Quiros, who won the Omega Dubai Desert Classic and SSP Chowrasia, who triumphed on home soil to clinch the Avantha Masters, in addition to Hennie Otto (Dimension Data Pro-Am) and George Coetzee (Telkom PGA Championship) who both won on the Sunshine Tour in South Africa. Kaymer, the European Tour Golfer of the Month for January, was also highly praised for becoming World Number One for the first time in his career on reaching the final of the WGC-Accenture Match Play. All the monthly winners will be considered for The Race to Dubai European Tour Golfer of the Year, which was won jointly by Kaymer and McDowell in 2010.

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