Donald win would be tribute to dad

By Associated PressDecember 7, 2011, 2:35 pm

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Top-ranked Luke Donald will be encouraged by the memory of his father while making a run at history this weekend.

Donald, who turned 34 on Wednesday, is on the cusp of becoming the first golfer to win both the European Tour and American money titles in the same season

It would rank as his greatest achievement, he said, and one the Englishman would like to win for his late father Colin, who “taught me everything he knew.”

Donald’s father died last month, days before the birth of Donald’s second daughter, Sophia Ann.

“When someone leaves you, you are always reminded of them in certain ways,” Donald said. “I’m sure he’ll be there with me. I’m not sure if I’ll specifically try to think about my father, but, yeah, it would be nice to win one for him.”

Donald, who’s already won the U.S. PGA Tour money title, is in a duel with No. 2-ranked Rory McIlroy for the European money title. The Northern Irishman trails Donald by just under $1 million, so to capture the title he must win the Dubai World Championship and hope that Donald finishes outside the top nine.

Donald could have clinched the title on Sunday, but McIlroy won the Hong Kong Open to keep the European Tour’s end-of-season Race To Dubai alive.

Donald welcomed the chance to go head-to-head with McIlroy, whom he considers a friend and rival.

“I think there is nothing really easy in life. You have to kind of earn those successes, and I fully expect Rory to play well and put some pressure on me,” Donald said. “It’s made me more focused this week and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

Winning the elusive double wasn’t a goal for Donald at the beginning of the year, but he said it started creeping into his mind after he won the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth in a playoff over Lee Westwood in May. Donald rose to No. 1 with the win, becoming only the 15th player to reach the top ranking in 25 years.

Donald has won three other titles this season, including Disney’s Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic where he took the U.S. money title from Webb Simpson. That put him on course for unprecedented success on both money lists.

“As time went on and I played and won the right tournaments, then certainly it became a goal,” he said. “You know, it’s something I’ve heard other players talk about in the past few years. I remember Ernie (Els) talking about it once and how hard it would be to do but how satisfying it would be to be able to do that.”

For Donald, winning both titles would be a chance “to make history.”

“No one’s officially done it before. I think that’s pretty amazing,” he said. “It’s not easy to travel as much as you do playing both tours and to be able to adjust to the time changes and all that. … If it all works out Sunday, that will be my biggest accomplishment.”

McIlroy said he thought his chance of winning was slim because he was up against one of the world’s most consistent golfers. Donald has finished outside the top 10 only three times this year on the European Tour.

“He’s won four times in a year and all big events – the World Match Play, Wentworth, Scottish Open and obviously Disney when he needed to,” McIlroy said. “And he’s hardly finished outside the top 10. He’s deservedly the No. 1 player at the moment.”

But Robert Karlsson, who won the tournament last year, said McIlroy will have an edge because the Greg Norman-designed Earth course is playing longer than it has in the past. He said at least three of the par 5s will favor the big-hitting McIlroy.

“Luke has another weapon that has taken him to the top of the world and that is his short game,” Karlsson said. “But Rory has a huge advantage getting up to the greens. That is just the way it is.”

If Donald does take the European money title, it is unlikely to silence the detractors who have questioned whether he deserves to be No. 1 because he hasn’t won a major. He tied for fourth at this year’s Masters, eighth at the U.S. PGA Championship and 45th at the U.S. Open. He missed the cut at the British Open.

The composed and low-key Donald said he wasn’t concerned about his critics, insisting that earning the No. 1 spot without winning a major in some ways was more impressive.

“The critics will always be there and they make me stronger to be honest,” Donald said.

“Every time someone says I can’t do anything, it just makes me work harder. So you know, fine. I don’t really mind that there’s critics out there. I’ve had a tremendous year and I’m excited about next year. I think I’m a different player this year because of all the victories. I feel more confident. Hopefully, I can bring the game to the majors.”

Donald returned to the tour only last week from a five-week break, during which he buried his father and welcomed the birth of his daughter. He said the time “was tough, very tough.” But his daughter’s arrival “spread a little grace on the situation” and allowed him to “concentrate my efforts on a new life.”

Reflecting on his father, Donald admitted Colin was more concerned about “bringing him up as a decent person” than passing on golf tips. But Donald still said he remembers many times walking the course with his father when he was a youngster.

“We didn’t play a lot but he would take me out sometimes, even mornings before school and we would go and play a quick nine holes,” he added. “I have fond memories of that.”

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.


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Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.


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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm