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Donald attacks US Tour over vote delay

The PGA Tour was forced to defend itself yesterday after Luke Donald, the world No 1, all but accused the American officials of delaying Player of the Year voting to give someone else a better chance of winning the award.

Donald, who sealed the American money list title last Sunday, made the comments after it was revealed that there would be a last-minute delay in sending out the ballot papers to Tour professionals until after next week's WGC-HSBC Champions tournament in Shanghai. Donald is not expected to play in China because his wife, Diane, is due to give birth.

The Englishman believed he had done enough when winning last week's Hospital Classic in Disney, Florida. "Why suddenly change the rule the day after Disney? It doesn't make much sense to me," a clearly frustrated Donald told the Golf Channel. "I feel like even if I went to Shanghai and won, they'd find another event to add."

The PGA Tour was obliged to explain the timing. The organisation had been set to send the papers out this week, but stalled after being alerted to the fact that the HSBC event partially counts on the American Tour.

"You could have had members voting on incomplete information if they voted before HSBC," said the PGA Tour vice-president Ty Votaw. "It came down to a question of fairness."