Luka DonaldLuke Donald was born in Hertfordshire but began his golfing career in America through a scholarship at Northwestern University in 1997. He turned professional in 2001 and won his first title on the PGA Tour at the Southern Farm Bureau Classic the following year. In 2004, Donald won the Omega European Masters and the Scandinavian Masters on the European Tour and made his Ryder Cup debut. He also teamed up with Paul Casey to win the WGC-World Cup for England.

 

In 2005, he finished third in his debut at the Masters in 2005 and was rapidly rising towards a place in the World’s Top Ten. In 2006 he claimed his second PGA Tour victory in the Honda Classic in Florida and tied for 3rd at the PGA Championship. Donald also won all three of his Ryder Cup matches to help Europe to retain the trophy.

 

A wrist injury in 2008 forced him to leave the tour for six months and his next victory was in the Madrid Masters in 2010. This ignited a further rise up the rankings and in February 2011, Donald achieved the biggest win of his career at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. That victory put Donald at a career-best ranking of number three.

 

Donald lost a playoff for The Heritage to American Brandt Snedeker and was beaten in the final of the Volvo World Match Play by Ian Poulter. That defeat ended a winning streak of 14 consecutive match play wins for Donald. In May 2011, he defeated Lee Westwood in a playoff to win the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth to secure his fifth victory on the European Tour and become world number one for the first time. Westwood had started the tournament at the head of the rankings.

 

Donald won the 2011 Scottish Open and later clinched the European Tour Race to Dubai. In doing so, he became the first golfer in history to be ranked first on both the PGA Tour and European Tour in the same year. In 2012, Donald enjoyed fierce rivalry for the top spot from Ireland’s Rory McIlroy. Donald won the Transitions Championship, his fifth victory on the US PGA Tour, and the two took turns as number one throughout the season. When Donald retained his title at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth in May he claimed top spot for the fourth time.

 

Donald was named the 2011 PGA Player of the Year and Tour Player of the Year, the first Englishman to win either award. He was also the European Tour Golfer of the Year and became the first Englishman to win the PGA Tour’s Vardon Trophy.

 

In May 2012, Donald was awarded honorary life membership of the European Tour as recognition for his outstanding achievements in 2011. He was also awarded an MBE for his services to golf. Donald finished tied for fifth in the 2012 Open Championship, equalling his best-ever finish in the tournament. McIlroy’s victory in the 2012 US PGA Championship gave the Irishman the advantage once again. Donald starts 2013 trailing both McIlroy and Woods in the rankings and is still seeking that elusive first major tournament victory.