Donald tailors 2012 schedule for majors

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

Bangkok

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.

Voices
Actor Zac Efron
voicesTopless men? It's as bad as Page 3, says Howard Jacobson
News
peopleOrlando Bloom the pin-up hero is making a fresh start
Arts & Entertainment
tvGrace Dent on TV
Voices
For the Love of God (2007) The diamond-encrusted skull that divided the art world failed to sell for
its $100m asking price. It was eventually bought by a consortium
which included the artist himself.
voicesYou can shove it, Mr Webb – I'll be having fun until the day I die, says Janet Street-Porter
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Life & Style
The exterior of a central London Angus Steakhouse
food + drink
Sport
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain drives in the rain during the qualifying session of the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix in Shanghai
sport
Extras
indybestFake it with 10 best self-tanners
Arts & Entertainment
Madonna in her music video for 'Like A Virgin'
music... and other misheard song lyrics
News
Much of the colleges’ land is off-limits to locals in Cambridge, with tight security
educationAnd has the Cambridge I knew turned its back on me?
Sport
Steven Gerrard had to be talked into adopting a deeper role by his manager, Brendan Rodgers
sportThe city’s fight for justice after Hillsborough is embodied in Steven Gerrard, who's poised to lead his club to a remarkable triumph
News
Who makes you happy?
happy listSend your nominations now for the Independent on Sunday Happy List
Arts & Entertainment
filmLife for Leslie Mann's can be challenging sometimes
Voices
For music lovers: John Cusack with his vinyl collection in 'High Fidelity'
voices...but don't forget rest of the year
News
The energy drink MosKa was banned for containing a heavy dose of the popular erectile dysfunction Levitra
news
Environment
People are buying increasing numbers of plants such as lavender to aid the insects
environment
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit