By petedirenzo
Friday, October 28, 2011

Lukedonald_poyGolf Magazine will announce the winner of its first-ever Player of the Year Award in the December issue. We’ve made our pick –- now, we want to know what you think. Tell us your choice for Golf Magazine Player of the Year on our Facebook page. All this week, we will profile the candidates for Player of the Year, and we will announce our pick Nov. 1 on Golf.com. Three weeks ago, PGA Tour money list leader Luke Donald learned that Webb Simpson was going to play in the McGladrey Classic in hopes of passing Donald on the list. For Donald, there was no option: He was going to play the week after at Disney World, the final tournament that qualifies for the 2011 money list. Simpson went to Sea Island and lost in a playoff, but the prize money was enough to surpass Donald by over $300,000. How did Donald respond? He went to Disney and he won, of course, in dramatic fashion, coming from four strokes back with nine to play to win the tournament, the Vardon Trophy (lowest scoring average) and the PGA Tour money title.
Disney was an exclamation point on what’s been a breakthrough year for the 33-year-old. He won the Accenture Match Play Championship in February, beating then-No. 1 Martin Kaymer. He then took the No. 1 spot for himself in May, when he beat Lee Westwood in a playoff at the European PGA Championship, the European Tour’s signature event. He also won the rain-shortened Barclays Scottish Open on the European Tour, and he has a great chance to become the first player to win the money list on both tours.
What’s next for Donald? There’s only one mountain left to climb and the smart money will be on him at Augusta next April. Official World Golf Ranking: 1 Wins: Accenture Match Play Championship, February 2011
European PGA Championship, May 2011
Barclays Scottish Open, June 2011
Children’s Miracle Network Classic, October 2011 Major Record: Masters: T4
U.S. Open: T45
British Open: CUT
PGA Championship: T8 Video Highlights: Luke Donald at Disney

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Luke Donald at Accenture Match Play Championship

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To vote for Luke Donald as Golf Magazine 2011 Player of the Year, visit our Facebook page here. Golf Magazine Player of the Year Candidate Profiles: Tuesday, Oct. 25: Yani Tseng Wednesday, Oct. 26: Keegan Bradley Thursday, Oct. 27: Rory McIlroy Friday, Oct. 28: Luke Donald  

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