Never has a 50-footer across the final green for an eagle and a victory been so overshadowed. Like everyone who understands the vagaries and rigours of professional golf, the winner Alvaro Quiros would have appreciated why Luke Donald was commanding the spotlight. Here was history to hail.
With a weekend's display which will rival the gutsiest ever witnessed on the European Tour, Donald achieved his goal of becoming the first player to win both the US and Europe money-lists in the same season. At last the "Ice Man" cracked, the cool countenance of "Mr Consistency" breaking out into a plume of emotion. When the last putt fell – naturally, a third birdie in as many holes – Donald pointed his two index fingers to the sky. No 1 on both sides.
Surely, the English sporting public at large will acknowledge what it has in this unassuming character. He may be quiet but, with the clubs in his hand, he has created a deafening din on the fairways. A 66-66 finish, featuring six birdies and no bogeys, was the perfect sign-off to the best season of his golfing life. Of course, in Hollywood they would have gone one step further and pictured him winning the Dubai World Championship. Yet the Donald story doesn't require any jazzing up. This is a tale of a short-hitter beating the odds and confounding expectations through force of talent and application. Donald did not take a single bogey in his last 46 holes to finish third. It's the cold facts which matter for Donald.
Still, there were the tears for the sentimentalists. Donald was asked what his father, Colin, would have said to him, had he not passed away suddenly last month. "He would have given me a hug," Donald said. "My father hopped into my head quite a few times out there. I didn't really look at a leader board until the 13th, but didn't see Rory's [McIlroy] name and so knew it was mine." A few minutes later, he hugged his brother and former caddie, Christian, who told him "thanks for doing this for Dad".
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