Luke Donald has received yet another award after his historic European and US Money List double earned him the Golf Writers Trophy for 2011.
The Open champion, Darren Clarke, tied with the US Open champion, Rory McIlroy, for second place, while the European Solheim Cup team took fourth place in the annual poll of members of the Association of Golf Writers.
Donald said: “Any award you win gives you a great amount of pleasure and for the Golf Writers to consider me as their player of the year means a lot, it really does. These are the people who really understand golf and appreciate all that I have achieved this year.
“All the people in the running for the AGW award – Rory, Darren, the Solheim Cup team and the Walker Cup team – would have been worthy winners and therefore it is very gratifying to get the vote ahead of all of them. That means an awful lot to me.”
Darren Clarke said: “What Luke Donald has achieved this year is unbelievable. I’m full of admiration for him.”
McIlroy said: “It has been an amazing year for me but as I said in Dubai, Luke deserves to be the Number One in our game this year. It is very satisfying to mentioned alongside Luke, Darren and the Solheim team by the Golf Writers.”
Golf Monthly’s editor at large and chairman of the Association of Golf Writers, Bill Elliott, said: “We received a record number of votes this year which reflects the range of outstanding achievements by European golfers in 2011. This has been an extraordinary year and left members with an extremely difficult task in assessing their first, second and third place votes.
“Darren Clarke’s triumph at the Open Championship was one of the most popular and emotional victories ever seen, while Rory McIlroy is the most exciting talent in the game whose US Open win was the single most impressive performance of the year.
“But what Luke Donald has achieved over the whole season has been nothing less than superb. He is a class act on the course, but also off it, and he thoroughly deserves all the accolades he has received.
“Personally, I am delighted the Solheim Cup team featured strongly in the voting, which perhaps reflects my own view that their thrilling last-gasp victory was not just the most exciting golf of the year but the one of the best finishes to a team event in the history of the game.”