Luke in a league of his own

Graeme McDowell insists Luke Donald’s money list triumphs on both sides of the Atlantic eclipses the winning of one of the four major championships in a solitary season.

By Alex Leach

Published: Tue 12 Oct 2021, 9:00 AM

Last updated: Tue 12 Oct 2021, 9:02 AM

World number one Donald put the cap on a historic year at the Dubai World Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates yesterday by officially becoming the first-ever golfer to top the European Tour and US PGA standings.

The Hemel Hempstead-born pro, 34, much like one-time predecessor Lee Westwood, continually finds the credibility of his unrivalled position in the global game though brought into question by his lack of success at the annual big four events.

However, McDowell feels Donald’s inaugural achievement should be viewed in the context of simply producing imperious form over 78 weeks and not just four.

“You’ve just got to look at Luke and say ‘What a year!’” the Northern Irishman, 32, said. “He’s getting everything he deserves with winning both money lists. It’s just a phenomenal achievement and great to see. It’s great for European golf and British and Irish golf. It’s just fantastic. It’s maybe beyond winning a major. We’re not looking at one event from four weeks of the year. We’re talking about 18 months of unbelievable golf he’s played.

“Since the Ryder Cup, he’s hardly missed a shot. He’s just been incredible, especially with his consistency level and the way he’s done it in bursts as well. It’s comparable to some of the years that Tiger’s had.

“Luke is a quietly-spoken man, who doesn’t shove himself in the limelight. He’s – understatedly – the best player in the world by a head and shoulders.

“Understated is the way you would describe Luke and he deserves more recognition than he’s probably getting.

“It’s the major champions that get all of the accolades and the hype, but Luke deserves a lot more credit than he gets.”

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