by Jeff Skinner
There are a few iconic records in sports. Babe Ruth’s 714 and Hank Aaron’s 755 home runs are two of them. The Miami Dolphins undefeated season at 17-0 has been challenged but not duplicated. Joe DiMaggio’s 56 game hitting streak is another. Byron Nelson’s 11 straight wins and Mr. Bobby Jones Grand Slam are all accomplishments that will never be bettered.
Could it be that Luke Donald’s single digit record of “2” falls into that same category? Donald is the first golfer ever to win the money title on the two biggest professional tours in the world. Donald has had an amazing season playing as a full time member of both the PGA Tour and the European Tour.
He finished his PGA Tour season by coming back from a planned break to top challenger Webb Simpson and win the Children’s Miracle Network Classic which gave him the PGA Tour money title. His third place finish at The Dubai World Championship clinched the European Tour’s money title and put Donald’s name in the record book forever.
This title caps an impressive season as Donald had four world wide wins and became the world’s number one golfer. What made his double even more impressive is that he let it be known that this was his goal and changed his schedule late in the season to come back on tour to win when he needed to. He survived challenges by Simpson and Rory McIlroy but he played great golf when he needed to.
Donald has been the most consistent golfer in the world. He only missed two cuts all year and finished in the top ten 17 of his 21 stroke play events. The only thing lacking on Donald’s bucket list is a major championship and he be likely to change that soon.
Consider the strain Donald was under for the last six weeks. He had to deal with the sudden loss of his father and then celebrated the birth of his second child.
Donald’s record may not be as revered as Nelson’s or Jones’s but it certainly deserves a measure of respect. With players earning millions by just playing and not winning and dollars being handed out for just showing up it will take a special player to have the determination and fortitude to crisscross the continents and chase both titles. Luke Donald was the first to do it and should be celebrated for it.