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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders