By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
Luke Donald, who won last year’s Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic to finish atop the PGA TOUR money list, won’t be back to defend his title in the season-ending event due to a scheduled medical procedure for one of his children.
“I’m very sorry that I will be unable to defend my title at this year’s Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic as that tournament was an important highlight for me in 2011,” Donald said Monday in a release. “My career as a golfer places many demands on my schedule, and I’m often forced to miss some precious time with my family as I travel to play around the world, but in this case, home is where I have to be. I wanted to be able to express my appreciation for everything that Children’s Miracle Network means to us and am happy to be able to support their work. I wish them a very successful tournament next month.”
In lieu of his appearance, Donald made a donation to Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, a Children’s Miracle Network hospital.
“Of course we will miss having our defending champion, Luke Donald, in the field this Fall, but everyone associated with Children’s Miracle Network and Disney understand the importance of being there to support family,” said tournament director Kevin Weickel. “I would hope that every one of us, in a similar position, would do the same thing and we offer our full support to Luke and his family.”
Donald finished his 2012 season on the PGA TOUR 16th in the FedExCup standings and 14th on the money list with one win (Transitions Championship) and seven other top 10s.