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Golf | European Tour

Luke Donald © Gallo Images

Donald gives McIIroy high praise



Luke Donald doesn't think his feat in becoming the first player to claim the money titles on the PGA and European Tour in the same season quite stacks up with how Rory McIlroy achieved the double this year.

"Twelve months ago I came here with a lot of pressure trying to win the Race to Dubai and with Rory right on my tail and with a lot more excitement surrounding the final event," Donald said after arriving in Dubai. "But this time around Rory's already wrapped up the title.

"What Rory's done this year has made what I did last year seem pretty ordinary."

Donald arrived into Dubai on Monday after winning the Dunlop Phoenix Open, his first victory in Japan. It was his third title of the season following wins on the PGA Tour and European Tour and allowed him to overtake Tiger Woods for the No 2 world ranking.

Unlike when he arrived here in 2011, Donald has no chance of reclaiming the No 1 spot on the European Tour this year because McIlroy locked up the title when he finished third at the Singapore Open earlier this month.

"It is just so impressive and Rory has had, by far, the most impressive year of anyone and that's unquestionable," Donald said. "He won a second Major and (has) just been so consistent and he's richly deserving of the title."

Donald said he was content with his year, despite being unable to repeat his achievements of 2011.

"I knew it was always going to be tough to follow what I did last year but it has still been a very successful year - won three times on three different tours and three different continents," Donald said Tuesday.

Donald said he was delighted to defend his title at the BMW Championship, but conceded he didn't fulfill his own expectations at the majors.

"Most disappointing was probably the US Open," he said. "I mean, I came in there with pretty good expectations and played awful. Just wasn't able to control my golf ball. Hit it poorly and as a result I missed the cut."

Donald said he was looking forward to plenty of rest in the offseason and time to work on his swing.

"I'm always trying to get the club in a little bit more of a neutral position," Donald said. "I tend to over use my legs at impact. I have too much flip past impact. I'm always trying to put the least amount of pressure on my left wrist. I mean the list goes on and on."

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