Luke Donald Wins Transitions Championship and Reclaims No. 1

Fred AltvaterContributor IIMarch 18, 2012

Luke Donald won the Transitions Championship and reclaimed the No. 1 spot on the OWGR
Luke Donald won the Transitions Championship and reclaimed the No. 1 spot on the OWGRSam Greenwood/Getty Images

After his record-setting year in 2011, Luke Donald has had a slow start in 2012. Donald was the first player to ever win the money titles on both the PGA and European Tours in the same year.

He had two wins and an amazing 14 top 10s in 19 starts on the PGA Tour; plus, he added two more wins and six more top 10s on the 2011 European Tour. 

Luke was forced to play late into 2011 to secure the European Money Title. He also witnessed the birth of his second child and the death of his father two weeks later. It is understandable that he has been somewhat sluggish this year.

The win at the Transitions Championship came on the heels of a T-6 at last week’s WGC-Cadillac and was just his fourth event of the year.

Luke played his steady, low-risk game all week at the Innisbrook Resort’s Copperhead course. He posted rounds of 67-68-70-66 and defeated Robert Garrigus, Jim Furyk and Sang-Moon Bae with a birdie on the first hole of the playoff.

Donald was the No. 1-ranked player in the world for 40 weeks, but fell out of the top spot when Rory McIlroy won at the Honda Classic just two weeks ago. 

Luke has not yet won a major championship and has not received total respect for reaching and holding the No. 1 ranking. Maybe this will help convince some media types that he is a deserving world-class golfer with an unmatched short game to go along with his extreme mental toughness.

Tiger Woods returning to competition this week from injury, Rory McIlroy looking to reclaim the No. 1 spot and Luke Donald wanting to earn the golfing world’s respect sets the stage nicely for the upcoming Masters in three weeks.

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