FedExCup Spotlight: Luke Donald
April 16, 2014
By Chris Dunham, PGATOUR.COM
- Luke Donald could jump-start his quest for England's first FedExCup this week at Harbour Town. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
One week can be all it takes to turn a season around in the FedExCup chase. Russell Henley was outside the top 100 before winning The Honda Classic and now resides comfortably inside the top 30. Ditto for Patrick Reed, who was 104th in the before winning the Humana Challenge and has since added another victory to sit in third place. Could Luke Donald be the next person to net a win and turn his year around?
The finishes haven't been what we've come to expect from Donald. He does have two top-10s in his first seven starts but hasn't finished better than a tie for 25th in the four majors and WGCs in which he's competed this season.
As the numbers are down, so is Donald's FedExCup standing. The Englishman enters this week's RBC Heritage at No. 71 in the FedExCup standings. It's his worst position in the week after the Masters Tournament in FedExCup history.
Donald also heads to Harbor Town coming off a missed cut at the Masters for the first time since 2010. That season, he tied for third at Harbour Town -- one of his four top-3 finishes in his last five trips here.
You read that right.
Donald, since 2009, has finished T2, T3, solo 2nd, T37 and T3 at the RBC Heritage, amassing more than 900 FedExCup points in that span. Even an average finish (by Donald's recent standards) at the RBC Heritage would net Donald 180 points and move him as high as 43rd in the FedExCup standings.
A victory, which even with Donald's slow start to the season wouldn't be surprising given his track record at Harbour Town, would likely move Donald inside the FedExCup top 20, putting him right back in the hunt to bring England its first FedExCup.
The thing that makes Donald such a threat in the FedExCup competition is that he could make a run at golf's richest prize from anywhere, so long as he qualifies for the FedExCup Playoffs. He's had at least one top-10 finish in each of the four Playoffs events in his career and boasts a trio of top-three finishes when the pressure is highest -- at The TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola.
Until he's officially eliminated, Donald will be considered a FedExCup threat. This week's event offers the five-time TOUR winner his best opportunity thus far on the season to make a significant move and officially announce his presence as a threat in the 2013-14 FedExCup competition.
Top 10: Luke Donald shots on the PGA TOUR
2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 31st 105th 30th 3rd 3rd 9th 28th
Donald's FedExCup highlights • The Englishman finished third in back-to-back FedExCup Playoffs (2010 & 2011) • Donald has competed in each of the last 20 Playofs events with nine top-10 finishes in that span • He had a streak of three consecutive top-3 finishes at the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola snapped last season.
• Since the inception of the FedExCup competition, Donald has four of his five TOUR titles with nine runner-up showings and 50 top-10 finishes. • Donald had one of the most consistent seasons for a non-FedExCup winner in 2011 with two victories and 14 top-10 finishes in 17 starts. He held the No. 1 spot for four weeks and finished the season third.
Donald's RBC Heritage results, FedExCup points Year FedExCup before RBC Heritage result Points earned FedExCup after 2009 32nd T2 245.0 15th 2010 20th T3 162.5 11th 2011 7th 2nd 300.0 2nd 2012 14th T37 31.0 15th 2013 70th T3 162.5 38th