LUKE DONALD cruised to victory over brand new world No.1 Martin Kaymer at the WGC Accenture Match Play Championship in the Arizona desert this morning.
Donald was never headed all week and continued his standard operating procedure of taking an early lead and finishing well before the 18th – a hole he only saw in a practice round earlier in the week.
The ninth seeded Englishman beat second seed Kaymer 3 and 2 to collect the $US1.4 million prize purse at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club at Dove Mountain.
“It feels amazing,” the 33 year old said. “I’ve had a bit of a monkey on my back the last few years. I haven’t won for five years in the US and there’s (been) a lot of sweat and tears to get to this point but I’ve broken through and it feels really good.
“I was a little shaky in the middle of the round. I held it together the last few holes and made nice birdies on 11 and 13 and 15 and that was good enough.
“My hat’s off to Martin. Becoming No.1 in the world is quite an accomplishment and I guess it makes this win a little bit sweeter even.”
The results mean Europeans now hold the first four places on the world golf ranking list for the first time since the 90’s, with Tiger Woods slipping to fifth behind Germany’s Kaymer, England’s Lee Westwood, Donald and Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell respectively.
In the latest rankings the three top Australians are sitting together on the list, with Robert Allenby 26th, Geoff Ogilvy 27th and Adam Scott.
Jason Day, perhaps Australia’s most impressive performer at the championship, is 37th.
Day lost a close one to J.B. Holmes 1 down after a controversial ruling whilst the only other Aussie second round survivor, Geoff Ogilvy, was beaten by Bubba Watson 6 and 4.
In the consolation match today, Watson was beaten 2 and 1 by fellow American Matt Kuchar.
American promoters, and the broadcasting tv network, will no doubt be hoping one of the local stars makes a final some year soon.
International players have dominated lately, with two Englishmen, Ian Poutler and Paul Casey playing out last year’s final and pre-game snow and a bout of sleet that temporarily halted proceedings making things look decidedly glum for local audiences.