Wednesday, 23 May 2012
Luke Donald  (Getty Images)
Luke Donald (Getty Images)
A year after becoming World Number One for the first time, the awards just kept on coming for Luke Donald on the eve of his BMW PGA Championship defence at Wentworth Club.

Donald was awarded honorary life membership of The European Tour on Wednesday morning after picking up the Harry Vardon Trophy for winning last season's Race to Dubai, the European Golfer of the Year crown voted for by writers and broadcasters and the Players' Player of the Year trophy - which he won with an amazing 95 per cent of the votes polled.

Now narrowly behind Rory McIlroy in the Official World Golf Ranking, the Englishman said "This is special" on receiving his membership badge from George O'Grady, Chief Executive of The European Tour.

He becomes the 41st honorary life member a year after Rory McIlroy, Darren Clarke, Charl Schwartzel and Lee Westwood joined the club.

Speaking of his victory 12 months ago in a play-off with Lee Westwood, the man he deposed as World Number One, Donald added: “It was a huge win for me, in terms of cementing the win that I had a few months earlier in the Accenture Match Play.

“To come here and win a stroke play event against a very strong field in the The European Tour's Flagship Event was special.

“I grew up just down the road, I had watched this tournament many times as a kid. Not just having the win on the line but also the title being Number One golfer in the world was very special. The year kept improving as it went along, and this was a big part of it.

“It's always a great week, and especially when you have a weather forecast like this. I'm excited to be back here. Since the changes, I've performed well around this golf course and I think any time you're coming back to a place with such good memories, you feel good about it. So I'm excited to be here, and glad to have a chance to go back to Number One One.”

To have any chance of achieving that, Donald must finish no worse than eighth on his own.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1DONALD, LukeENG18-15
T2LAWRIE, PaulSCO18-11
T2ROSE, JustinENG18-11
4LAWRIE, PeterIRL18-8
5GRACE, BrandenRSA18-7
6STERNE, RichardRSA18-6
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