Luke Donald: Wins the CMN Hospitals and the Money Title, POY Is Next

Carlos TorresContributor IOctober 23, 2011

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - OCTOBER 23:  Luke Donald of England poses with the trophy after winning the Children's Miracle Network Classic at Disney's Magnolia course on October 23, 2011 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Luke Donald shot an eight-under on Sunday and won the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals tournament and the money title.

It was a fairytale ending of sorts for Donald as he entered this tournament with the single goal of winning the money title in his mindset.

Webb Simpson had taken the money list lead last week after his second-place finish. And the world number one, entered the tournament this week, knowing that he needed to finish in the top two to have any chance of overtaking Simpson at the top of the money race.

At the start of the final round on Sunday, it looked like a daunting task. Donald entered the final round back in tied for 14th, five shots behind the co-leaders Justin Leonard and Kevin Chappell.

With birdies at the first and second holes he was off to the fast start he needed. He made bogey on the par-four fifth, but bounced back with back-to-back birdies on the next two holes.

When he got to the par five eighth, he made bogey and for us outside it looked like that would be the momentum stopper for Donald. He made par on the ninth hole to make the turn at two-under for the day, 11-under for the tournament.

But Donald did go out for the win today. If there was a doubt in anybody's mind of why Luke Donald is the world's number one golfer, he cleared it up with what he did for six consecutive holes starting on the 10th.

Donald made six consecutive birdies, but the one on the 15th hole was the birdie of the tournament for him and the exclamation point on the win. He made a 45-foot putt for the birdie, getting to 17-under, two ahead on the lead.

He kept that lead as he entered the clubhouse after pars on the last three holes. As play went on, no one was able to catch Donald, giving him the tournament and money list titles.

Webb Simpson needed to finish second to keep the money title. And after four successive birdies from the seventh hole,  it looked like he was the one that would take home the tournament and money titles.

But Simpson played his final eight holes in one-over, and finished T6 with Trevor Immelman, John Rollins, Nick O'Hearn and Billy Mayfair at 13-under.

Solo second-place was for Justin Leonard at 15-under. T3 were Tom Pernice Jr, Sunghoon Kang and Kevin Chappell at 14-under.

Donald, who is well ahead in the Race to Dubai, looks like a sure thing that he will become the first man in history to win the money lists on both main tours—PGA and European.

After this performance, Donald should be a lock to win the PGA Tour's Player of the Year award. He finished his amazing season with two wins and 12 Top 10 finishes.

It was a remarkable performance, he went out and earned it.

- Carlos Torres

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