Altvater: World No. 1 Donald to make 2012 debut at Northern TrustWritten by Fred Altvater | | BackNine@toledofreepress.com
When last we saw the world’s No. 1 golfer, Luke Donald, he was holding the Race to Dubai trophy awarded to the top money earner on the European Tour. He had earlier in 2011 captured the PGA Tour’s money title, making him the first golfer ever to win both the European and PGA tours’ money titles in the same year.
He has not played since December. Other business interests, as well as dealing with the death of his father late last year and the birth of his second child have kept him more than busy.
Donald has been the most consistent golfer in the world over the past two years. His short game is second to none. When he can keep the ball in play with his driver he has been a moneymaking machine.
Over $14 million in earnings plus four wins worldwide in 2011 made for a very satisfying year indeed. But there is one gaping hole in Luke’s resume. He does not have a major championship trophy on his mantle.
He gathered his team in January for a meeting of the minds and set a plan for 2012. Donald does nothing without a plan. He even monitors the number of practice balls he hits when warming up before his round.
The primary goal for this year is to capture a major title. Luke is a tough competitor and has the all-around game to contend and win majors.
He has the confidence factor that is necessary to trust one’s game during the intense pressure of a final round when in contention in a major championship.
With the resurgence of Tiger Woods, a renewed Phil Mickelson, and the always-competitive Rory McIlroy, winning a major in 2012 would be a huge accomplishment for any golfer.
It would be especially satisfying for No. 1, Luke Donald.