World Number One Luke Donald continues to set a set a scorching pace in The Race to Dubai after another impressive performance in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio.
Donald has extended his lead to €1,689,692 over Masters Tournament winner Charl Schwartzel in his quest to become the third Race to Dubai champion at the conclusion of the Dubai World Championship presented by DP World in December.
The stylish Englishman shot four rounds in the sixties to share second place at Firestone with American Rickie Fowler behind runaway winner Adam Scott of Australia. By collecting a prize of €461,770, Donald lifted his season’s earnings to €3,618,466 – almost double the amount that second placed Schwartzel (€1,928,774) and third placed Rory McIlroy (€1,924,503) have earned.
Donald, McIlroy and inaugural Race to Dubai winner Lee Westwood all finished inside the top ten in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and carry good form into this week’s US PGA Championship, where Martin Kaymer of Germany defends his title.
Donald, who has excelled in this season’s World Golf Championships, commented: “The European Tour is so strong now that to do well in The Race to Dubai, or to have any hope of winning it, you have to do well in the Majors and the World Golf Championship events and I have definitely done that in 2011.
“I won the WGC – Accenture Match Play, tied for sixth in the WGC – Cadillac Championship and finished tied fourth in the Masters. When you add in my wins in England and Scotland on the regular European Tour, then that is why I am in such a healthy position currently at the top of The Race to Dubai, which is great and obviously another good week in Akron has helped lengthen my lead.
“As well as winning The Race to Dubai, my goal for the season is to do the ‘win double’ of The Race to Dubai in Europe and the FedEx Cup in the United States. No-one has ever topped the money list on both sides of the Atlantic in one season but I’ve put myself in a great position. That would be quite a special thing to do.”
The top 15 in The Race to Dubai are almost unchanged this week, with only Miguel Angel Jiménez – now 11th - and the injured Nicolas Colsaerts (12th) swapping places.
However the significant mover in terms of the top 60 players aiming to qualify for the Dubai World Championship was England’s Justin Rose, who earned €44,788 from a share of 33rd place at Firestone to climb 11 places from 67th to 56th in The Race to Dubai.