So the quiet, understated, slowburn-grin Englishman did it in style. Certainly there was nothing Mickey Mouse about Luke Donald’s extraordinary victory in Disneyland and an unlikely win that secures him number one place on the US Tour to sit alongside his ‘World Top Dog’ title.
Unless something equally extraordinary occurs between now and the Race to Dubai finale in December, Donald seems all but assured of ending the year as Europe’s top money winner too.
There is, however, a problem with all this success and the problem is this…do Luke’s 2011 achievements trump the Major heroics of Charl Schwartzel, Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke when it comes to choosing the European Golfer of the Year?
As one of the panellists charged with finding someone to anoint as this year’s numero uno I’d love to hear your views. Last year was difficult enough when the choice came down to either Graeme McDowell or Martin Kaymer and the decision was fudged by honouring them jointly.
Well, whatever else happens, this year’s choice cannot be a four-way tie. Somehow a decision has to be reached.
Will it be Schwartzel whose sensational quartet of birdies at the climax of the Masters won him a Green Jacket? Should it be McIlroy following his dominance in the US Open? Did Clarke do enough by winning The Open and so confounding those of us who felt his was a spent force when it came to the biggest moments?
Or does Donald’s relentless efficiency and competitiveness lift him a few inches above all the others? However you analyse it, it is a tough call and right now I have no idea which way my vote will go when we meet in several weeks time in London to discuss it all.
So, please, give me some help here. Who would you give the top title to after a year that is without precedent for European golfers?