Donald tailors 2012 schedule for majors

World's No 1 player plans to improve upon his record-breaking season of global dominance


Luke Donald arrived in Melbourne this morning with Australia's most successful golfer of recent times comparing him alongside "the greats". Geoff Ogilvy is clearly someone who doesn't believe a major is a necessity to rubber-stamp this world No 1's reputation.

Like the majority of his fellow pros, Ogilvy has been struck by the magnitude of Donald's achievement of winning both the US and European money lists in the same year. Following Donald sealing the unprecedented feat with the Race To Dubai title on Sunday, Rory McIlroy wondered "if it will ever be done again" while Graeme McDowell urged the media and public "to give Luke the credit he deserves". For Ogilvy this credit to be has fulsome.

"Luke's probably had one of the best 18 months anyone's ever had, including all the greats that you would instantly think of like Tiger [Woods] and [Greg] Norman," said the former US Open champion. "He's been a machine. He finishes top 10 almost every week he tees it up. Every single week it's mattered he's delivered; it's been an astonishing year."

The stats back him up, with Donald's third place in Dubai making it 20 top 10s from 26 tournaments played in 2011. At Victoria Golf Club, Donald will be out to win the Australia Masters, which would be his fifth title of the year, before he returns to Chicago to celebrate with his family. He will then return to competition in January and makes no secret of his principal ambition next year.

"Obviously a major is the only thing missing from my resume and I'm excited about 2012," said Donald. The 34-year-old revealed that, as garlanded this campaign has been, he has still learnt a lesson when it comes to peaking for the big four. "I've looked at my schedule for next year, and there will be a little bit more time off before the Majors, so I can feel like I'm extremely rested and ready to go for those events," said Donald. "That was the only area I felt like I maybe didn't manage quite so well in 2011 – at the US Open I felt like I was drained. I'd played a little bit too much leading up to that."

He is not about to go easy on himself, however. Donald is the player who works hardest on his short game and the benefits are clear. So much for the widely-held notion that golf was a game for the bombers and that shorter hitters such as Donald would be operating at too much of a disadvantage to crack the elite. In the last 15 years nobody but Woods has held a bigger lead in the world rankings. Has Donald, all 5ft 9ins of him, heralded golf's resurgence of the little man?

"I'm sure some golfers out there have looked at my success and figured out you don't need to hit it 100 miles," said Donald. "I think people are taking notice of what I've done and how I've done it and will maybe change the way they approach practice."

Five years ago, as those such as Hank Haney, Tiger's coach at the time, were writing off Donald as a big-time contender, Donald bowed to the criticism and sought to add length to his game. The result was a downward spiral. Donald went back to being Donald again and now the world understands why.

"I've proved that if you have a good and proficient short game and good putting you can have a decent year no matter what," said Donald. "There is more to this game than hitting it far. I would love to hit it further but I've got to stick with what I have and what my talents are. It's served me OK so far." With £8.5m in on-course earnings – and probably rising – in 2011, only a fool would disagree.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Lewis Hamilton walks back to the pit lane with his Mercedes burning in the background
Formula 1
Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con
comic-con 2014
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
Arts and Entertainment
No Devotion's Geoff Rickly and Stuart Richardson
musicReview: No Devotion, O2 Academy Islington, London
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride