Donald makes history as Quiros hangs on in Dubai|
Dubai, United Arab Emirates (Sports Network) - Luke Donald's historic year
ended in style Sunday with three straight birdies, 46 bogey-free holes and a
sterling six-under 66.
Donald didn't win the Dubai World Championship, finishing third at 16-under
272, but he became the first golfer in history to capture the money title on
both the European and PGA Tours in the same season.
Alvaro Quiros' second win of 2011 -- he carded a five-under 67 on Sunday to
shoot 19-under 266 -- and sixth overall was merely a footnote at Jumeirah Golf
Estates, as the world's top player, Donald, put on a dazzling performance to
which spectators have grown accustomed throughout the year.
After his final birdie on the 18th green, Donald lifted both arms in triumph
and hugged his caddie in celebration. He takes home an additional $1.5 million
for winning the Race to Dubai in addition to his 359,832 euro check for the
"(I'm) extremely proud. This is something I've been thinking about for the
last half of the season," Donald said. "I got off to a great start, and to be
able to win both money tours is something I didn't think was possible."
It's one of the more remarkable seasons in recent memory for any golfer, one
that leaves a major title as the lone accomplishment Donald has yet to
achieve. He captured the Race to Dubai title by over a million euros after
topping Webb Simpson by about $300,000 earlier this year to win the PGA Tour
In 25 worldwide starts this year, Donald posted three victories, 13 top fives
and 19 top 10s. He missed only two cuts and placed in the top 11 in all but
one of his final 10 tournaments. He captured the No. 1 ranking for the first
time with a victory at the European Tour's flagship event, the BMW PGA
Championship, and will take that distinction into the 2012 season.
"There's a lot to achieve. The thing about this game is you're always looking
for ways to improve and get better," Donald said. "Although I've won a few
tournaments, there's still things to achieve. I'd like to pick up a major.
It's fun to be number one in the world, and I know there's a lot of great
players chasing me, and it'll keep me working hard."
Meanwhile, Quiros made sure he didn't squander a second straight 54-hole lead.
After surrendering last week's advantage to Rory McIlroy at the Hong Kong
Open, Quiros finished Sunday's round with a 50-foot eagle putt to beat Paul
Lawrie by two.
"I was lucky holing the one putt, but it was perfect," Quiros said.
It's the first time Quiros has won twice in a season after winning once in
each of the last four years.
The only player that threatened Donald's historic feat was McIlroy, but the
U.S. Open champ, who admitted he tired as the season came to a close, never
got going on Sunday. He shot a one-under 71 and finished in a tie for 11th at
As far as Donald was concerned, the drama was withdrawn shortly into his round
after a flawless front nine put him at 13-under. With McIlroy's struggles, it
was certain Donald would win the Race to Dubai, so the only question became
whether he could catch Quiros and Lawrie.
"I didn't see Rory on the leaderboard, and at that point I knew I was cruising
a little bit," Donald admitted.
It would have been the ultimate finish, but Donald began Sunday a few too many
strokes behind Quiros. Donald played the back nine as he did the first --
three birdies and no bogeys -- but it wasn't quite enough for his fourth win
of the year.
Quiros and Lawrie, however, made for a thrilling finish at the season's
Quiros began the day with a two-shot lead, and the Spaniard was all over the
place on the front nine with five birdies and three bogeys. He began with
three consecutive birdies and looked to run away with the tournament, but
Lawrie shot a five-under 31 on the front nine and caught the leader at 17-
under with a birdie at the eighth.
When Quiros bogeyed the ninth, Lawrie took the lead for the first time, and
Quiros had to be thinking about last week's demise.
Lawrie isn't McIlroy, however, and the European Tour veteran posted his third
straight over-par 12th hole with a bogey to fall into a tie with Quiros at 16-
under. At the par-five 14th, Quiros made a seven-foot birdie putt to regain
the lead with four holes to play.
"Watching how Paul was playing was something difficult to figure out," Quiros
said. "I just wanted to keep going and focus on my own work and see what
Lawrie's best chance to tie came at the island green 17th, where he missed a
seven-foot birdie chance that never broke to the left. It wouldn't have
mattered, however, as Quiros hit the green in two at the 18th and saved his
best shot of the tournament for last.
NOTES: Quiros moved into the world's top 20 with the victory...Donald also
receives a 10-year exemption on the European Tour for winning the Race to
Dubai...Lawrie posted his first top-five finish since the Iberdrola
Open...This was the final event of the 2011 season. The 2012 season gets
started the first week in January with the Africa Open, where Louis Oosthuizen
is the defending champion...It's the seventh European Tour title of Donald's
12/11 07:50:49 ET