Donald king of the castle

10/07/2011 18:00:14
Luke Donald  (Getty Images)
Luke Donald (Getty Images)
Luke Donald’s glorious 2011 continued as he made the Barclays Scottish Open his third title of the year.

The World Number One, who won the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play in February then added The European Tour’s flagship BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club in May, closed with a flawless 63.

The 33 year old’s nine under par round secured a 19 under par total at the spectacular Castle Stuart Golf Links to run out a four shot winner from Swede Fredrik Andersson Hed, who signed for a best of the week 62.

Donald shot the lowest round of his European Tour career in the land of his father – he marked the fact by wearing tartan trousers – as he dominated the rain-shortened event on the final day.

It was his second successive triumph in Europe and now he will try to put the icing on the cake - at Sandwich - by capturing his first Major title at The Open Championship next Sunday.

"It's nice to get another victory - I can get used to this," he said. "To do it on a links is even better and when I play well I tend to do reasonably well the next week.

“I holed putts when I needed to, and it's nice to do it when it matters.  

“The scoring conditions were there - Fredrik had a very low one, barely made the cut and finished second.  

“If you played well it was there for the taking and with the greens being softer and very little wind. But I holed the putts when I needed to, and I holed a bunch of 20, 25 footers out there today, and had a good feel for the greens. I was seeing the lines very well and it was nice to hold them when it mattered. 

“I felt good out there. I felt very comfortable and very in control, and that's a good sign for next week.” 

After Saturday's wash-out cut the tournament from 72 to 54 holes, Donald first of all had to play half of his second round starting at 7am and did that in three under par to close the gap on the leaders from four to one.

Then he went out again after lunch and left the rest for dead, taking the €550,249 first prize with a total of 197.

With Lee Westwood coming joint 14th Donald also stretched his lead at the top of the Official World Golf Ranking.

And it is such a gap that Rory McIlroy - next week's favourite following his amazing US Open Championship win - cannot now go to number one even if he lands back-to-back Majors.

Runner-up Andersson Hed burst out of the pack with a best-of-the-week 62, while in a seven-way tie for third Scotland's European Tour rookie Scott Jamieson was the happiest man.

That was because a ten foot birdie putt on the last gave him the one Open Championship spot on offer.

Chile’s Mark Tullo, South African George Coetzee, Argentina’s Angel Cabrera, Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts and Italian Lorenzo Gagli were the others to finish 14 under.

Jamieson said: "I wasn't sure how important that putt was.

"I can't believe I'm in The Open - it's great. First Major, hopefully many more to come."

In seven European Tour starts this season Donald has now earned a staggering €3,153,531.

That works out at an average of over €450,000 per week and his career earnings on The European Tour alone - he also has victories in America to his name - could go through the €11,000,000 mark this coming week.

There were four leaders with a round to go - Jamieson, compatriot Peter Whiteford, Swede Peter Hanson and Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell.

Jamieson was the only one to break 70. Whiteford fell away with a 73 and McDowell was one worse than that after putting two balls in the gorse on the long 12th and running up a quadruple bogey.

Until then he had hopes of catching Donald. He finished eight behind him and 42nd.