Donald gears up for final push and unique double
Edison: World number one Luke Donald is gearing up for a final 2011 push as the FedExCup playoffs begin Thursday at The Barclays with the Briton aiming to reign over both the U.S. and European tours.
Donald, who leads both tours in earnings as he masterfully juggles memberships on the two circuits, begins his campaign at Plainfield Country Club for the season-ending playoffs title and its USD 10 million (6.1 million pound) bonus.
Should the 33-year-old Englishman maintain his brilliant consistency, he could achieve a unique double by becoming the first to be the top winner on both tours in the same season.
Donald also leads the standings for the season-ending Race To Dubai on the European PGA.
"I feel like I have a lot to play for," Donald told reporters on Tuesday. "I`ve had a great year so far, very consistent."
Donald has three wins this season, including two on the European Tour along with the WGC-Accenture Match Play title, and has posted 10 top-10 finishes from 13 U.S. events.
This week`s opener of the four-event FedExCup series, was open to the top 125 players in the playoffs standings.
"I feel like I like to play against the best players. I think it elevates my game," said Donald, who will tee off in the first round with Phil Mickelson and U.S. PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley.
Donald said he was not driven by riches, but rather by the hardware that symbolizes success at the highest level.
"I`m more concerned with winning The Race to Dubai and the FedExCup," said Donald, who ranks fourth in the FedExCup standings.
"Winning trophies rather than the title of being leading money winner is much more important to me. I`m obviously in a position where I have a great chance."
The top 100 players in the points list qualify for the Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston, with the leading 70 players there moving on to the BMW Championship. The top 30 qualify for the Tour Championship finale.
Donald said he was determined to finish strong.
"Certainly it`s a motivating factor," he said. "I`ve been working very hard the past week, and you know, it`s nice to have certain things to chase after and focus (on) and it makes everything a little bit more meaningful."