About Luke Donald

By Contributing Writer

silhouette of golfer
Born in England on December 7, 1977, Luke Donald has become a popular figure on the PGA Tour since his debut on the American circuit in 2002. Always followed by encouraging cries of "Luuuuke!" from the galleries, the affable, low-key Englishman has quietly built a successful career since turning professional in 2001. During his college career at Northwestern University, Donald was named a first-team All-American in 1999, 2000 and 2001.

Early Days

Donald played a significant role in Great Britain and Ireland's Walker Cup victories over the United States in 1999 and 2001, collecting a record seven points out of eight.
In 1999 at the Nairn Golf Club in Scotland, Donald linked up with Paul Casey to win both foursome matches in addition to two singles victories. They are two of only three Great British and Irish players to have won all four matches in the Walker Cup, the other being Scotland's Andrew Oldcorn.
Two years later at Ocean Forest Golf Club in Sea Island, Georgia, Donald was again undefeated in the singles and earned another point in the second foursomes session when paired with Nick Dougherty.
Having traveled to the U.S. to attend Northwestern, Chicago, Donald won the NCAA individual title in 1999. He also smashed Tiger Woods' Golfstat Cup record for lowest stroke average (70.45) the same year. In 2002, Donald finished first in the Southern Farm Bureau Classic to claim his first PGA Tour victory.

American Success

Although Donald remained without a trophy on the PGA Tour (as of 2009) since his 2006 Honda Classic win, he's a steady force, failing to make only two cuts from a possible 15 events during the 2009 season up to the RBC Canadian Open. Because of that, Donald was ranked at 24th on the World Golf Rankings.
The 2008 season proved equally profitable with three top 10 finishes, including third at the Northern Trust Open and second at the Honda Classic, giving him 2008 earnings of nearly $1.5 million. However, his 2008 season was cut short due to a wrist injury sustained during the U.S. Open.

International Victories

Donald's most successful year on the European Tour was 2004, when he won both the Omega European Masters and the Scandinavian Masters by Carlsberg.

Ryder Cup

After playing on two consecutive Ryder Cup teams, Donald was forced to pull out of the 2008 competition because of a wrist injury. By that time he was a veteran of two previous Ryder Cups and had amassed a record of 5-1-1.
During the 2004 competition, eventually won by Team Europe at Oakland Hills Country Club in Michigan, Donald teamed with Sergio Garcia to beat Kenny Perry and Stewart Cink 2 and 1 during the Friday afternoon foursomes, while the same duo bested Jim Furyk and Fred Funk 1-up during the Saturday afternoon foursomes.
Two years later, Donald helped Team Europe lift the trophy for the second successive year by winning 2 and 1 over Chad Campbell during the Sunday singles and beating Phil Mickelson and David Tomes 2 and 1 with Sergio Garcia during the Saturday afternoon foursomes.

Away from Golf

Following his time at Northwestern, where he majored in art theory and practice, Donald has become a collector of art. Also a painter, he cites his major influences as John Constable, Leonardo Da Vinci and Gustav Klimt--a renowned artist of the European Art Nouveau movement of the early 20th century.
Donald's interest in fine wine led to the Luke Donald Collection with the creation of the Luke Donald Claret in 2008, while Donald's interest in the wines of Burgandy led to a collaboration with the Terlato Wine Group. In 2009 the Luke Donald Collection Chardonnay from Carneros was released.