Luke Donald has made the famous West Course his own of late and arrives at Wentworth Club with an historic hat-trick of BMW PGA Championship titles in his sights.
Only Colin Montgomerie has achieved such a feat, the eight-time European Number One winning the European Tour’s flagship event in 1998, 1999 and 2000, but now Donald has an opportunity to follow suit after successfully defending the title 12 months ago.
It was in quite different circumstances that Donald claimed his second BMW PGA Championship title last year. Instead of the pressure-cooker atmosphere he overcame in 2011 in a play-off with fellow Englishman Lee Westwood, where the World Number One spot was up for grabs in addition to the €750,000 first prize, Donald cruised to a four-stroke win with a superb final round 68.
It was a quite majestic defence of the title he won for the first time the previous year, and his masterclass at Wentworth Club lifted him back to World Number One, a position he had exchanged with Rory McIlroy six times in the preceding three months.
The 35 year old, who grew up in nearby Buckinghamshire and watched his idols tackle the fabled West Course as a boy, delighted record crowds of more than 95,000 over the four tournament days with his trademark killer short game.
He also joined Sir Nick Faldo (1980 and 1981) and Colin Montgomerie (1998, 1999 and 2000) as the only players to have won The European Tour’s flagship event two years running.
“To come and defend and get back to number one is very sweet indeed,” said Donald after his sixth victory in 15 months worldwide. “I take a great amount of satisfaction. It means I am doing the right things and the hard work is paying off.”
Who would bet against him emulating Montgomerie and completing his hat-trick on Sunday night?
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