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Luke Donald won the PGA Tour's final tournament of the year on Sunday after posting a final round 64 that put him two strokes ahead of runner-up Justin Leonard at the conclusion of the Children's Miracle Network Hospital Classic. While it is unclear how Mickey or Goofy felt about the victory, Donald was ecstatic in the wake of his win at the Walt Disney course in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
"It was a dream year," Donald said in a post-round interview. "Finding the shots when I needed to will really mean a lot to me and the people that I work with." Indeed, the British-born Donald is now in the immediate wake of the best season of his career and will certainly be hoping to build on the foundation he has created over the course of his excellent year.
If present trends continue, this will be Donald's first of many years near the top of the PGA rankings. The 34-year-old will likely be pre-approved for the purchase of a large yacht after a season in which he racked up over six and a half million dollars. His total is the largest on the PGA Tour this year after Sunday's take put him ahead of Webb Simpson for the overall money title. Coincidentally, Simpson also finished in 2nd place in the FedEx Cup points standings behind champion Bill Hass.
After paying his caddie and team of assistants as well as absorbing expenses involved with flying all over the world with an immaculate set of golf clubs, Donald will still clear more money than the vast majority of professional football players, which is especially nice considering that concussions and broken bones are not part of his job description.
Donald playing his balls posted a 6-under 66 on Thursday, which put him in a tie with a handful of golfers atop the first round leaderboard. After he went on to shoot 71 on Friday and 70 on Saturday, few imagined that Donald would be able to mount the epic comeback that he did. Donald rolled in a 64, which led Sunday's lineup and tied the for the tournament low with the Friday performances of Henrik Stenson and Ryan Palmer. The fact that Donald shot a score that tied for the tournament low on a pressure packed Sunday is a testament to his incredible skills an unflappable grit.
After a season that has featured a bevy of fresh faces and young guns coming into the spotlight of success, it has become crystal clear that the incredibly competitive and entertaining PGA Tour is currently wide open for the taking. As time steadily ticks toward the highly anticipated beginning of the 2012 season, dozens of golfers are gearing up for their shot at next year’s championship in light of the fact that the usual suspects have virtually disappeared from contention over the course of the past two years. Here's to a 2012 season that is primed to be one of the best ever!
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