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Sunday, 23 October 2011
Luke Donald   (Getty Images)
Luke Donald (Getty Images)

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Luke Donald played arguably the greatest round of his life - and with it grabbed the US PGA Tour money list title by a whisker.

Only joint 14th and five behind starting the final round of the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic in Florida and possibly needing to win to overhaul America Webb Simpson, England's World Number One shot a ten birdie 64.

Donald, who had six successive birdies from the tenth to move two clear, still led by two when he finished, but second-placed Nick O'Hern, Justin Leonard and Kevin Chappell had three holes to go.

But O'Hern had two bogeys, Chappell one and when Leonard failed to hole his approach to the last Donald knew he was number one on more than just the Official World Golf Ranking. He won with a 17 under par total of 271.

It was Donald's first stroke play victory on United States soil in over 5 1/2 years and it gives him a great chance to become the first player to top the money lists on both sides of the Atlantic in the same season.

In Europe he leads The Race to Dubai by over €1,300,000, but there are eight events left and he will be missing some because his wife Diane is expecting their second child in the next fortnight.

Simpson, playing with Donald for the fourth day in a row, shared top spot himself for a while, but three-putted the short 15th after Donald had made a 45 footer and with a 69 was in sixth.

Nothing worse than a two-way tie for second would have done for Donald. If that was where he finished Simpson had to be in the top 21 to deny him, but if Donald was runner-up on his own Simpson had to be eighth - and with Donald winning Simpson, last week's runner-up, had to be second again.

Donald said: "I didn't play the par fives very well this week and the eighth (a bogey six) was a case in point.

"I thought my chance might have gone, but I was saying that I hadn't got on a run and what better time than the back nine on Sunday?

"It's nice to do it under pressure when I needed to. All credit to me and the guys I work with."

He made a late decision to play and was in London last weekend for his regular caddie's wedding. With John McLaren on honeymoon Gareth Lord, Robert Karlsson's long-time bag-man, stood in, so what a week it was for him too.

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