2011 season leaves Donald frustrated

Despite all he has achieved so far this year, Luke Donald admits that 2011 has been “somewhat disappointing”.

Despite all he has achieved so far this year, Luke Donald admits that 2011 has been “somewhat disappointing”.

The Englishman has by most standards had an incredible season – three wins around the world, leading the money lists on both sides of the Atlantic, 12 top 10 finishes out of 17 on the PGA Tour and currently the world’s No 1 ranked player – but it’s clear that he probably would have traded in much of that success for the first major victory that has so far eluded him.

Donald had high hopes of breaking his major duck in 2011, but after another year of giving it his all, he had to be content with a best showing of fourth in the Masters and eighth at the US PGA, while he missed the cut at the Open Championship and finished well down the field at the US Open.

For the world’s top ranked player, that wasn’t good enough.

“The No. 1 goal at the beginning of this year was to try and compete and be in contention for majors,” Donald said according to espn.com.

“In that regards, I suppose it was somewhat disappointing. I had a chance in two of them, which was an improvement on previous years, but two of them weren’t that great. I think that always has to be the focus.

“I think you’ve got to try and peak for those four events as much as you can. I’ll look back at the end of this year and realize maybe I played a little bit too much leading up to the US Open. I felt a little bit over-golfed.

“Maybe some of those other successes took away from what I was trying to ultimately achieve, and that was to be very prepared for the Open, for the majors. It’s something I’ll think about come the end of the year, but the goal is always to try and peak for those events.”

Still, for a player who was only just in the top 30 back in early 2010 and hadn’t showed any serious form to show he was up there with the world’s elite, 2011 has been an incredible year.

Asked if he would have questioned the sanity of anyone who touted him as a No. 1 this time last year, Donald said: “Probably. Obviously there’s been a lot of change, especially in the world rankings. But that’s how they work; if you don’t play and you don’t perform, you’re going to drop down, and if you play well and consistently, winning tournaments and having high finishes, you’re going to climb up that world ranking pretty quickly, and that’s obviously happened to me.”