Donald finally wins again
If his Wentworth loss was agony for Luke Donald , his Madrid Masters triumph on Sunday was ecstacy for him.
Seven days after his agony at Wentworth, there was ecstasy for Luke Donald on Sunday when he ended four years without a win at the Madrid Masters.
And his triumph makes it an incredible four English players in the world’s top 10 just nine years after Lee Westwood was the only one in the top 100.
Donald, who blew a great chance to win the BMW PGA Championship by taking a double bogey seven on the penultimate hole, this time grabbed a brilliant eagle to settle his close and long-running final round bnattle with Welshman Rhys Davies.
Level with three to play, the 32-year-old hit a 252-yard fairway wood to 12 feet on the long 16th and with his third eagle of the week – “it’s because I’m a big-hitter” he joked – struck the decisive blow.
Davies, already a winner in this his first full season on the European Tour, birdied the hole and still had a chance to force sudden death, but his 20-foot effort on the last was never on the right line.
The victory lifts Donald from 13th to ninth in the world – and to fourth place in the Ryder Cup points race, knocking Padraig Harrington out of the top nine who will earn automatic spots at the end of August.
His last victory was the Honda Classic in America in March 2006 and his last in Europe came in Switzerland in September 2004.
Donald won with a closing 67 to Davies’s 68 and with a 21 under par total of 267. It earned him £214,242, but he said: “The money is secondary.
“It’s been a while since I won and to put last week behind me makes me very proud.
“The way I played today means a lot to me. The eagle was huge because Rhys put a lot of pressure on me.
“It’s happiness and relief – definitely some relief.”
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