Friday, August 17

Luke Donald: Happier at World No. 2?

Luke Donald (Allison)
RORY MCILROY’S VICTORY AT THE PGA CHAMPIONSHIP was a blessing. Not only did Rory win in record fashion and reaffirm his specialness, the lad from Northern Ireland knocked Luke Donald off the perch he’s held since late May. McIlroy took over the No. 1 ranking in the Official World Golf Ranking. Donald dropped to No. 2. Tiger Woods is No. 3.

If I’m Luke Donald, I’m thinking this isn’t such a bad thing. Frankly, it must be refreshing to take a break from the “You’re No. 1 in the world but haven’t won a major” line of inquiry and coverage. That has to get tedious.

The Official World Golf Ranking is a points system. That’s about as much as I know about it. (Well, I also know that OWGR is the acronym.) It’s not Luke Donald’s fault that he was No. 1 in the world ranking without a major. But it has put him on the defensive at times. People have questioned it. I’ve questioned it. Let’s face it, in golf (and in other areas of our lives) we don’t trust points systems. Players who win major tournaments and have their names engraved on ancient trophies—that we understand.

I’m OK with Luke no longer being No. 1. Maybe he feels the same way. He can skip that nagging question at upcoming media conferences. He’s the same good guy, the same good golfer. In fact, he’s won twice this year, once on the PGA Tour and once on the European Tour. The majors, though, have been a disappointment.

“You always gear your season up to peak at these events and I haven’t quite figured that out yet,” Donald said at the conclusion of the PGA.

Now Luke can take a breather, settle in as world No. 2, and look ahead to the Ryder Cup. Rory at No. 1 just feels right. Better him than another stint with, say, Lee Westwood. Because that would just be more of the same.

(Brought to you by Direct Golf UK, which not long ago ran a competition offering the golf opportunity of a lifetime. Entrants had a chance to play golf with Luke Donald.)


Brian Kuehn said...

Well said.

Brian Kuehn said...

Frankly, trying to figure out what the "words" are is too much trouble.

Danny Amonsin said...

This battle for number 1 seems like its going to go on for while between Luke and Rory.

It wasn't too long ago that Rory claimed the title of #1, and then Luke came back.

Guess well have to keep watching to see who can keep the title the longest.