Golf: 10 Reasons We Should Be Glad Luke Donald Is No. 1

Kathy BissellCorrespondent IJune 1, 2011

VIRGINIA WATER, ENGLAND - MAY 29:  Luke Donald of England holds the trophy with Wife Diane and Daughter Elle following his victory in a playoff on the 18th green, which also secured him the Number one World ranking during the final round of the BMW PGA Championship  at the Wentworth Club on May 29, 2011 in Virginia Water, England.  (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
David Cannon/Getty Images

1. He actually smiles a lot.

Luke Donald seems to enjoy playing golf, at least when we see him near the top of the leaderboard, which has been a lot lately. He smiles, he waves, he tips the visor. He's not full of himself, but he is rightfully proud of his accomplishments.

2. He's a gentleman and acts like it.

Donald is kind of old school in that he acts like fictitious British gentleman. He speaks well and politely, like your sixth grade teacher taught you to do. Only with a really cool accent. You do not have to be worried when you take your seven-year-old to watch Luke Donald. If Donald does something unsavory, it will be news.

3. He tweets and it's fun stuff.

Luke Donald tweeted about his sunburn. He joked about Charl Schwartzel wearing the Masters jacket to a black tie dinner. He tweeted a sunrise photo from his beachfront location during The Players. He even sent a twitpic of his mother-in-law while buying her a birthday lunch.

4. He's a Big Ten grad, practically blazing new golf territory.

We had John Cook, Ed Sneed, Joey Sindelar and Jack Nicklaus from Ohio State and Steve Stricker from Illinois, but historically the Big Ten is better know for linemen than golfers. The new flock includes Jeff Overton from Indiana, D.A. Points from Illinois, and Donald from Northwestern, which until recently was best known as the talent pool for Golf Digest editors not PGA Tour players. He was the only college graduate to make it through all stage of Q School in 2001, his first attempt.

5. He has cool outfits.

How can you not love Polo? Maybe it's a chick thing.

6. He's not 6'6".

Luke Donald is probably 5'8"-5'9", stretched out. For him to rise to No. 1 in the world flies in the face of everyone who predicted that only big guys would find success in golf from now on.

7. He's got that cool nickname that the crowd loves to chant.

LUUUUUUKE!!  Best nickname since Fred Couples. Fredeeeeeee!

8. He actually plays the PGA Tour.

Unlike recent No. 1's Martin Kaymer and Lee Westwood, Donald made a decision after college to make the PGA Tour and his home tour, or at least one of his home tours. Donald's probably been to most tour stops at one time or another including his first victory which was at the Southern Farm Bureau in Madison, Mississippi, a tournament where Payne Stewart earned his first title.

9. He seems to actually like it in the U.S.

Some people adapt and adjust to new environments and some don't or won't. Donald plays here and in Europe, and in Asia and Africa. He has homes in Chicago and West Palm Beach—on this continent.

10. He has another talent—painting.

If the golf thing doesn't work out, Donald has a fall back. A collector of contemporary art, Donald was an art theory and practice major at Northwestern. When he has time off—which has not been lately—he paints and draws.