Donald seals historic double

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland reacts at the 18th green during the final round of the Dubai World Championship at the Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai December 11th, 2011. - (Photograph: Jumana El Heloueh/Reuters)

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland reacts at the 18th green during the final round of the Dubai World Championship at the Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai December 11th, 2011. - (Photograph: Jumana El Heloueh/Reuters)

 

Golf: Luke Donald pointed his two index fingers to the sky today after completing an unprecedented double that has earned the world number one an amazing €9.37 million. When Rory McIlroy failed to win the Dubai World Championship - he finished joint 11th - Donald knew he had added the European Tour money list title to the PGA Tour crown in America.

Coming as it did little more than a month since his father died suddenly, Donald did well to hold himself together over the closing few holes knowing what he had achieved.

The 34-year-old even birdied the last three holes for a second successive 66 and took third place in the tournament, one behind Scot Paul Lawrie and three behind Spain’s Alvaro Quiros, who eagled the 18th for a notable double of his own after taking the Dubai Desert Classic in February.

Only when he was being interviewed afterwards did the tears well up in Donald’s eyes as he was asked what his father would have thought and done.

“He would have been very proud and he would just give me a big hug,” he said. “My father hopped into my head quite a few times (over the closing stretch). I didn’t really look at a leaderboard until the 13th, but didn’t see Rory’s name and so knew it was mine.”

"I had so many mixed emotions. This is something I didn’t think was possible, but it became a possibility midway through the season. It’s driven me to work hard and be as successful as I’ve been. Rory made it tough, but for it actually to happen is almost a weight off my shoulders.

“History is why we play the game and I’m very proud of it. I got what I came for.”

McIlroy had conceded defeat after a third-round 71 left him in eighth spot, but Donald added: “I was still nervous this morning. It was important to get off to a good start and I did.”

He birdied three of the first seven holes and his closing hat-trick meant he played the last 46 holes without a single bogey despite the pressure.

It was his 20th top-10 finish in 26 starts this year, four of them victories.

“I’ve played extremely solid, consistent golf all year and it’s down to a good work ethic and good people around me pushing me hard,” he added. “I hope it will help me in my quest for a major. It feels amazing and it’s my greatest year for sure. I feel I’ve a lot to achieve, but this is something I will never forget.”

Collated final round scores & totals in the European Tour Dubai World Championship, Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai, United Arab Emirates; (Gbr & Irl unless stated, Irish in bol, par 72):

269Alvaro Quiros (Spa) 68 64 70 67

271Paul Lawrie 65 73 66 67

272Luke Donald 72 68 66 66

274Peter Hanson (Swe) 64 72 71 67

275Charl Schwartzel (Rsa) 69 71 68 67

276Francesco Molinari (Ita) 71 68 68 69, Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa) 72 67 66 71

277Robert Rock 68 69 71 69, Shane Lowry 69 70 68 70

278Pablo Larrazabal (Spa) 71 68 70 69

279Robert Karlsson (Swe) 73 72 68 66, Rory McIlroy 66 71 71 71, Graeme McDowell 71 71 71 66, Sergio Garcia (Spa) 67 73 68 71, Martin Kaymer (Ger) 73 71 64 71

280Paul Casey 72 66 70 72, David Lynn 69 72 70 69, Johan Edfors (Swe) 72 68 72 68

282Thorbjorn Olesen (Den) 70 73 70 69, Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel) 72 74 67 69, Fredrik Andersson Hed (Swe) 75 66 72 69

283Hennie Otto (Rsa) 70 75 71 67, Ian Poulter 73 69 68 73, Jaco Van Zyl (Rsa) 69 70 72 72, George Coetzee (Rsa) 74 73 69 67

284Thomas Aiken (Rsa) 69 73 75 67, Jamie Donaldson 75 69 69 71, Rafael Cabrera Bello (Spa) 72 70 74 68

285Thomas Bjorn (Den) 73 70 71 71, Gregory Bourdy (Fra) 70 73 71 71, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Spa) 70 71 72 72, Lee Westwood 73 69 69 74, Edoardo Molinari (Ita) 71 73 68 73

286Ernie Els (Rsa) 74 69 73 70, Matteo Manassero (Ita) 73 68 72 73, Mark Foster 76 71 70 69

287Felipe Aguilar (Chi) 70 77 68 72, Alexander Noren (Swe) 70 72 70 75, Retief Goosen (Rsa) 74 69 75 69, David Horsey 69 72 73 73, Lorenzo Gagli (Ita) 72 71 73 71

288Richie Ramsay 74 69 70 75, Thomas Levet (Fra) 70 75 69 74

290Anders Hansen (Den) 74 73 69 74, Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spa) 71 77 71 71

291Ross Fisher 68 74 75 74, Simon Dyson 77 75 69 70

292Rhys Davies 73 73 69 77, Raphael Jacquelin (Fra) 74 67 74 77, Gregory Havret (Fra) 72 72 72 76

293Joost Luiten (Ned) 76 71 73 73, Peter Lawrie 75 74 71 73

294James Morrison 75 70 76 73

296 Michael Hoey 75 72 76 73, Scott Jamieson 72 72 79 73

297Christian Nilsson (Swe) 76 73 73 75

299 Darren Clarke 76 72 75 76