Luke’s not the Don now
Luke Donald has brushed aside his relinquishing of the world No.1 spot, instead insisting it’s getting back in the winner’s circle that drives him on.
The unassuming Englishman rounded off an unusually erratic week at the RBC Heritage with a 71 on Sunday, meaning he found himself well outside the top-eight finish needed to stay golf’s main man.
That honour now belongs to young star Rory McIlroy, the man who cut short Donald’s 40-week stay at the summit last month with his Honda Classic triumph.
However, the 34-year-old regained the world No.1 spot two weeks later with his superb win at the Transitions Championship, although he admits he hasn’t been anywhere near as reliable as last year, when he topped the money lists on both sides of the Atlantic - the first player to do so.
“Is it a concern? No,” Donald said. “Obviously, I’d have liked to have played a bit more consistently this year. I built it up nicely last year through tournaments and winning a bunch. As a result, there’s a little bit of fluctuation in the world rankings now.
“It’s a strange feeling when you get up early and don’t have a chance to win,” he added as he left Hilton Head before Carl Pettersson collected the trophy.
“It’s hard to get motivated every round and every shot. You never know when you’re going to find something that might just click and make a difference.”
Donald acknowledged reaching No.1 the first time was a satisfying career achievement, as was holding it for so long a period, saying: “It’s a lot more the focus the first time around. Now my focus is on winning tournaments.”
The Ryder Cup star will take next week off and then return to action in the Zurich Classic on April 26.
McIlroy, like most of golf’s best, took the week off after the Masters and spent part of the week in Copenhagen visiting girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki, according to the tennis star’s tweets.
The Northern Irishman tweeted upon hearing the news of his ascension back to the top: “#1 again without touching a golf club this week....I wish it was that easy!”
US Open champion McIlroy next tees it up at the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow on May 3.