Magical Luke Donald Wins At Disney & Seals PGA Money Title

Filed under: Golf,Orlando Golf |

World number 1 Luke Donald (pictured above) put together an incredible string of six birdies on the trot as he shot a final round 8-under 64 to take the 2011 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic at Walt Disney World today. In doing so he secured the PGA Official Tour Money List  title and left little doubt who was No. 1 on the PGA Tour.

Donald trailed Webb Simpson (pictured above) by some $363,029 coming into the final round of this years PGA Tour and he leapfrogged his playing partner to take the winners check of $846,000  and end the year with $6,683,214 some $335,861 ahead of Simpson. He also kept alive his bid to become the first player to win the money title on the PGA Tour and the European Tour in the same season. His lead in Europe is just over $1.8 million over Rory McIlroy with five tournaments remaining.

He wound up with a two-shot win over Justin Leonard (pictured above), who finished with eight pars for a 71. Leonard already is exempt for next year, but kept alive his streak of never finishing out of the top 125 on the money list since joining the tour in 1994.

“This is one of the most satisfying wins of my career,” Donald said afterwards at the press conference, “Everything was on the line, I’m thrilled and over the moon.”

It was an incredible back nine as he holed four straight birdie putts inside 8 feet, took the lead with an 18-foot birdie on the par-5 14th hole, then sealed his stunning rally with a 45-foot birdie on the 15th hole.

It was his second PGA Tour win of the year and also won the Vardon Trophy for the lowest adjusted scoring average. There’s also a good chance that he’ll become the PGA Tour player of the year as no one else has won more than twice this year.

Webb Simpson seemed very matter of the fact afterwards as he said “We gave ourselves a chance. The fact is, playing against the best player in the world, he’s going to do something great like that most of the time, and he did. Made six birdies in a row. Tough to compete against.”

At the end of the day it was Donald who stole the show. He only entered the Disney event after Simpson decided to play at Sea Island  last week. Simpson took runner-up honors there and established the lead on the money list so Donald knew his best chance was to win this weekend. It was an extraordinary exhibition of attacking aggressive golf that fittingly took the title. It was a privilege to be there. Congratulations Luke!

More pictures at … and here’s a picture of me with Luke after the event:

Luke Donald & Nigel Worrall



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