Classy Donald back to number one

BY Bruce Young | European PGA Tour | 2012 BMW PGA Championship | Wrap | 28 May 2012

Luke Donald is again the world number one, regaining the mantle when he impressively defended his BMW PGA Championship title by four shots at Wentworth Golf Club today.

What he been billed as a battle between Donald and his fellow countryman Justin Rose appeared as if it might develop into just that early on when the pair were tied through five holes but Donald established a winning break with birdies at the 6th, 7th, 10th and 12th holes and the only battle that remained was for the runner-up position.

Rose appeared to have that locked up until two late birdies by a resurgent Paul Lawrie saw the Scot tie with Rose for second position.


The delight in Donald was obvious. “I am thrilled. Obviously this is the first time I’ve defended a title, and a great one to choose to defend, is right here,” he said.

“This is a special event for me, means a lot. I didn’t think it could get much better after last year’s victory, going to No. 1. But to win again, this course has been very kind to me and, yeah, truly very, very happy right now.”

“I felt some tension out there. It’s not easy going out there with a lead and trying to close a tournament out. Justin is a solid player. I knew he wasn’t going to give up much, and I knew that I had to go out there and earn it.

“It was a shaky start. I hit a poor shot at the first tee, I didn’t hit a very good tee shot off 2, and made a mess of 4. Wasn’t the start I was looking for. But the finish was certainly every bit of what I was looking for, and extremely happy with the way I closed out the event.”

The old chestnut of Donald and the question mark over majors was raised.“Obviously winning one major would satisfy some of my critics. But personally, you know, the goal is to win more than one. I feel like I have that ability, and hopefully that will happen.”

Rose was perhaps disappointed he had not made a greater race of it but happy with what had been a good week. "Yeah, obviously it’s been a good week. Felt like there’s been some very good aspects of my game and nice to be in the final group and pairing with Luke, obviously playing in England, great crowds.

“That was really fun to be a part of. Luke, obviously every credit to him. He played certainly like a champion today and made the putts when he had to and didn’t miss a shot down the stretch. You know, obviously every credit, he did exactly what he needed to do today.”

Ireland’s Peter Lawrie finished 4th and South Africa’s Branden Grace continued his great season when he finished 5th.

The best of the Australians this week was Andrew Dodt who finished 39th.

The European Tour plays International Final Qualifying for the US Open at Walton Heath on Monday of this week before the ISPS Handa Wales Open begins on Thursday.

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    About the Author: Bruce Young

    A multi-award winning golf journalist, Bruce's extensive knowledge of the game comes from several years caddying the tournament circuits of the world, marketing a successful golf course design company and as one of Australia's leading golf journalists and commentators.


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