Date: May 28, 2012

Grant Report – Luke Who? Don’t be Fooled.

Why does the world’s top player, Luke Donald, fly under the golfing world’s radar ?

Donald, who has swapped the World No.1 spot back and forth with Irishman Rory McIroy this season, gets none of the mop-haired US Open champion’s exposure.

Therein may lie the problem. A major. McIroy has one and Donald doesn’t.

The Englishman achieved the remarkable feat of winning both money titles on the US and European tours last year, yet strolls through tournaments with barely a second glance from fans.

He was beaten the best Americans in the Ryder Cup and had more than two years of victories and consistent top 10 finishes.
Donald may not be the highest profile player among the public but he certainly gets respect where it counts most.

"He does from all the players," says Geoff Ogilvy.

"The feeling when Rory won at Honda (in March) was the collective hurray from the world’s media that, ‘Wow, thank goodness Rory’s No. 1 now.’ That’s what it felt like, which is an absurd disrespect, really.

"No one, apart from maybe Tiger (Woods) and Vijay (Singh), has had a better two-year period than he’s had.

"Rory plays his best. Tiger plays his best. Phil (Mickelson) plays his best. It’s like a toss-up who’s the best when everybody is playing their best. But the reality is that guy (Donald) has been the best for the last 18 months, at least."

Donald’s best major finishes are a T-3 at the Masters in 2005, a T-12 at the US Open in 2006) a T-5 at the British Open in 2009 and a T-3 at the PGA Championship in 2006.

He, himself, is well aware of the big blank space on his resume.

"I’ve obviously experienced being at No.1," Donald said. "It’s nice. I like to be No.1. There’s no fluke in getting to No.1. It’s two years of hard work and being consistent.

"But obviously my career, I’m still searching to win majors and that’s much more important."

Donald is a 20/1 chance to win the US Open at Olympic Club in June while McIlroy and Woods are 8/1 favorites.

Ogilvy believes it is reasonable to judge a player’s place in history by their record in the majors.

"That’s fair over a career," Ogilvy said. "If he plays like he has the last 18 months over the next 10 years and doesn’t win a major, that’s a fair thing to focus on. …

"If you get to the end of his career with no major, then it’s a big asterisk. But in the middle of it, I think you give him (a break)."

Ogilvy said he would be surprised if Donald were not able to capture a grand slam over the next 18 months with his immaculate short game and that view is starting to be reflected by the press.

"I think the begrudging respect out of the media center is actually building," Ogilvy said. "They’re starting to have to (respect him)."