Sometimes Good Guys Do Finish First
By: Richard Smith
Stonehenge Golf & Country Club
What an exciting 2011 golf season! Rising stars like Rory McILroy, Webb Simpson, Keegan Bradley, and Rickie Fowler showed us there's plenty of dynamic players to fill the Tiger void. Dustin Johnson continued his climb to join golf's elite, and several old stalwarts continued to show that they still have the game to stand atop the world known as the PGA Tour.
One player, only 5’9” in stature, rose to a pinnacle never before achieved in the golf: that man was Luke Donald. He finished the season as the only man to win the money title on both the U.S. and European tour. He dominated the tour week in and week out. Never won a major? So what, I’m sure that a major championship is within his reach.
In 2011, Mr. Donald was the PGA leading money winner, the PGA Player of the Year, the Euro Tour leading money winner, the Vardon Trophy winner, the winner of the Byron Nelson Award, the Euro Tour Race to Dubai Winner, and the European Tour Golfer of the Year.
But he should have won another award: for his sportsmanship on and off of the golf course. Luke Donald is one of the game’s true gentlemen and respected by his golf peers and those he deals with personally and in business. He exemplifies what is cherished and inherently good about the game…nearly $7 million in winnings this year hasn’t seemed to taint Mr. Donald head game or attitude.
It’s a shame that our media spends so much time focusing in on incidents or individuals that embarrass the teams or the schools they represent. Maybe, just maybe, we should focus on the guys like Luke Donald…there are plenty of them throughout the world of sports to hold up as shining examples of sportsmanship, fair play and athletic excellence.
Hats off to you, Luke Donald…keep it going in 2012!