Luke Donald Wins Transitions Championship, and is World #1 Again. March 19 2012

Luke Donald won the Transitions Championship at the Copperhead course after a four-way playoff. Tied at the top after the final round at the Copperhead Course were, Luke Donald, Jim Furyk, Sang-Moon Bae and Robert Garrigus, all at -13 under par for the tournament. Luke Donald had last round 0f  -5 under par, but best round of the day went to Scott Piercy who sot a -9 under par 62 to finish just one shot off the pace at -12 for the tournament. Retief Goosen had  a sad last round of  75, to fall out of contention, Padraig Harrington shot at last round of even par to finish at -7 under par, six shots off the pace. Not a good result for Paddy Harrington after his record first round of 61. Ernie Els had a gallant tournament in his bid to get into the Masters, he finished just one shot short of the playoff at -12 under par. Luke was asked if he thought that the general consensus of opinion was that he was a spent force and last year was somewhat of a fluke; "I use it to motivate me, yeah for sure. Absolutely, I don't pay too much attention to it, but I certainly wasn't in the media at all. I think people thought that my last year was maybe a little bit more of a, not a fluke, but I don't think many people thought I could do that all over again this year. Hopefully I can prove them wrong." About standing over his final birdie attempt, luke said; "Last thing I thought about was I've been ranked No. 1 in putting the last three years.' When the putt dropped in, Luke Donald was the #1 player in the world again. Luke Donald wins four-man play-off to claim USPGA Transitions Championship and world No 1 spot Photo: AP Korean Sang-Moon Bae was a happy golfer, saying; "Great, but on the last hole, but great week. I did my best. Pretty good. My driver, iron shot, came back and the putter, everything good. Looking forward to play Bay Hill next week." Talking about his putt on the play-off hole Jim Furyk had some regrets, about the putt itself, and the missed opportunities before he reached the play-off;   "Well, that's a putt, really, just trying to; I hit it maybe a little harder than I would have usually and knocked it about five feet by. Just a putt you're trying to get down there close. I hit what I thought was a really good drive. I didn't think that ball was going to miss the fairway and it hit off the back, what appeared to hit off the back of that mound and kind of shot forward and left and went much farther than hit it all week, because of that, got up there in the short cut and had an awkward lie with the ball way below my feet, especially my left foot was up really high.Tried to take a little more iron because of the stance being so awkward, I didn't feel that I could go at 9 firm. I felt like I would lose my balance, and so tried to hit an easy 8 and came out hot out of the short cut, and that's why it was long. I hit good shots down the stretch. I'm disappointed. Obviously the three-putt at 13, I'll replay that through my mind a little bit and again got probably a little too caught up in the line. It kicked really hard right coming off that fringe, but the speed was pitiful and I was a little surprised. I didn't think I hit it three feet long, four feet long but ended up about eight feet long. I hit the second putt, absolutely maybe the best putt I hit all day. A little surprised that one didn't go in. That first one was so bad, I left myself in that position." After waiting two hours at the top of the leaderboard, Robert said of his play-off putt; "18, it was a pretty simple putt. I thought it was the same exact put I had in regulation, but just didn't break as much. I had a great day. If you would have told me I would have been in a playoff this morning when I woke up, I would have pretty much told you;  you were crazy. It was a good day, and hit three good shots in the playoff and they didn't go in the hole and that's golf and that's why we keep grinding and keep going." Ernie Els finished bogey, bogey to miss his chance of winning, and going back to the Masters, he might have to win next week or the Houston Open to get back to Augusta National, he said in interview; "It's going to be tough, I'm pretty hot now, and it's difficult to talk with a straight head here. If I take stock, I think I'm playing good golf, and I've got to head into the next couple of weeks trying to get a win." Great tournament, and great to see Luke Donald back as World #1, his next joust with Rory McIlroy will be an interesting contest, and I am looking forward to it.