Things were not looking good for Luke Donald as he finished 10 shots behind the leader at the Nedbank Golf Challenge after an almost two-month break while his European Tour money race rival Rory McIlroy was on a roll with a victory at the Hong Kong Open.
The situation seemed even gloomier for Donald when Rory got on the leaderboard after the opening round and Donald tied for 26th.
However, the 34-year-old Englishman managed to get his old self back by Friday as he began hitting good shots, making good scores, and sinking putts while the 22-year-old McIlroy lost his golf swing on the 18th in the second round.
At the end of the event, Luke Donald finished third to win both the American and European money titles while McIlroy settled for 11th. The second-ranked McIlroy blamed his poor performance on the consequences of the dengue fever that he caught in China or South Korea.
Meanwhile, Spaniard Alvaro Quiros beat both the No. 1 and 2, finishing two shots ahead of Scot Paul Lawrie with a 19-under-269 total.
Winning both money races was not Donald’s goal initially but it crossed his mind once he won the BMW PGA Championship and climbed to No. 1.
After that, the Englishman won other three tournaments, including the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic where he beat Webb Simpson to the PGA Tour money title and got onto the course for the double.