Luke Donald named European Tour Golfer of the Year


Luke Donald has added the European Tour Golfer of the Year title to all his other achievements this season.

First player ever to top the money lists on both sides of the Atlantic in the same season - and the current world number one, of course - Donald was earlier this week voted the PGA Tour Player of the Year.

His latest award from a panel of writers and broadcasters came despite Rory McIlroy becoming the youngest US Open champion since 1923, Darren Clarke the oldest Open champion since 1967 and Charl Schwartzel winning the Masters.

"To have the accolade of European Tour Golfer of the Year means an awful lot to me and I will certainly look back on this year with a lot of fond memories," he said.

"It is always nice to be appreciated, especially from the people in the sport who know the game inside out. They have recognised what I have done this year and it is very gratifying to have that validation.

"As a professional golfer you are always trying to do your best and it was good to see all the hard work I have put in coming to fruition.

"I was delighted with my game this year and it is rewarding to feel that, sometimes, consistency does pay off.

"Everyone dreams of having a year like this and I am very excited and feel fortunate that it happened to me.

"Rory's win at Congressional was amazing, as was Darren's success in the Open, while Charl birdieing the final four holes to win the Masters was a truly magical moment in golf.

"Therefore, to be given the vote ahead of these great players who also had great years is very special indeed."

Donald won four times during the year, twice in America and twice in Europe - the Scottish Open and flagship BMW PGA Championship after a play-off with Lee Westwood that ended the Worksop golfer's reign as world number one.

"The manner in which I came through to win both money lists was, I think, the thing that pleased me the most about the season," Donald added. "Going to Florida and winning when I had to was very important as it gave me the incentive to go on and succeed in Dubai.

"There was a lot of pressure on me to come through that week and so, after my first round, to shoot 16 under par over three rounds to get the job done was the icing on the cake.

"This game always gives you the opportunity to improve and hopefully I can continue this form into 2012 and find some way of getting even better."

He won the Race to Dubai despite playing six fewer events than runner-up McIlroy and topped the US PGA Tour Money List despite playing seven fewer events than second-placed Webb Simpson.