Luke Donald on brink of historic feat at Dubai


Mon, Dec 12, 2011 - Page 19

Barring a spectacular collapse on the final day, England’s Luke Donald is all set to create history by becoming the first ever player to win the Money List on both the US PGA and the European Tours in the same season.

While Donald produced a solid, bogey-free third round of six-under 66 on Saturday, it was Rory McIlroy’s failure to make any impact following a listless performance that should help the Englishman’s accession to the throne.

McIlroy, who needs to win the US$7.5 million Dubai World Championship to have an outside chance of winning the European Tour’s Race to Dubai, struggled throughout the day and finished with a one-under 71 for an eight-under par total of 208.

However, with Spain’s Alvaro Quiros leading the tournament at 14-under par 202 following a round of 70, it would take a superhuman effort from the 22-year-old in the final round set for yesterday.

“The Race is over,” said McIlroy, who made one bogey and four birdies apart from the double. “Luke is in a great position and he has played great the last couple of days. I expect him to go out and shoot another very solid round tomorrow and wrap this thing up.”

However, Donald said he is still not taking things for granted.

“You can’t take anything for granted in this game. I would be foolish to expect that it’s over. Tomorrow, it will be just like any other day in terms of my focus will be on trying to catch whoever is the leader and trying to win the tournament,” the world No.1 said.

In the midst of the Donald-McIlroy battle, the man wearing the biggest smile was Quiros. Despite starting the day with a bogey and ending with another, he did enough good work in the middle for a two-under par 70.

That gave him a two-shot lead going into the final day over Scotland’s Paul Lawrie, who eagled the final hole in his 66, while South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen also returned a similar score to be one ahead of Donald in sole third place at 205.