Luke Donald: World number one
Luke Donald—Golf's world number one—goes into the US Open as odds-on favorite and the Englishman would be a good bet to claim that coveted trophy on Sunday.
Donald has been in fantastic form this year after soaring up the world rankings list from ninth to first after some tremendous performances. Two weeks ago, after a technically superior display, he claimed victory in the BMW PGA at Wentworth, securing him the title of world number one.
It is the past nine months that have defined Donald’s career as he is proving to be worthy of his world number one status. There is still one statistic that holds him back however. The Englishman may well be considered the best in the world right now but he is still yet to win a major championship and he will look to correct that this week.
His overall game has improved immensely over the past year and has established himself as one of the most technically gifted players in golf. His wedge play and chipping has been exceptional at times and overall rather consistent, proving to have a stand out short game.
His quality short game was illustrated in his under pressure showing on the par five 18th in the BMW PGA Championship. His pitch shot onto the green was perfection as he holed a birdie to claim the tour title and steal the world number one spot off compatriot, Lee Westwood.
He is arguably the best putter in the world right now, which could play a crucial role in his overall performance come Sunday. Rory McIlroy’s dreadful performance in the last round at the Masters in April proved how putting ability can decide the tournament.
Young McIlroy did not show the mental capacity needed in such pressure situations but Luke Donald has proved in recent months that he will show no such vulnerability on these occasions.
However fantastic his short game may be, he still does not possess the driving capabilities of all the big hitters. On a course measuring more than 7,500 yards, he may struggle at times to compete with some of the others but the player has admitted he has been developing this part of his game.
Luke Donald, like any other player has flaws but if he can use his game to his advantage and show off his technical ability when it counts then he will prove himself as the most gifted player in the world right now.
The world number one will have to be at the top of his game this week as he faces stiff competition but if he performs as he has been doing of late then it would not be a surprise if he claims his first ever Major championship.