Donald's final-hole birdie at East Lake boosts him toward two money titles

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Luke Donald's final-hole birdie was worth $134,667, and it could make all the difference in Donald's pursuit of trying to become the first player to win money titles on both sides of the Atlantic in the same season.
By
Associated Press

Series: PGA Tour

Published: Tuesday, September 27, 2011 | 6:34 p.m.

That birdie putt by Luke Donald on the final hole of the Tour Championship might turn out to be bigger than anyone imagined.

It wasn't enough for Donald to capture the FedExCup and its $10 million prize. He wound up one shot away from joining the sudden-death playoff at East Lake. But it gave him a three-way tie for third, which was worth $418,667.

Had he missed the putt, Donald would have been in a four-way tie for fifth, which would have paid $284,000. That made it a putt worth $134,667, and it could make all the difference in Donald's pursuit of trying to become the first player to win money titles on both sides of the Atlantic.

Donald left East Lake atop the PGA Tour money list -- by $68,971 over Webb Simpson.

Donald is done playing the PGA Tour this year. Simpson, who was exhausted at East Lake from playing six times in seven weeks and winning twice, has not indicated whether he will play any of the Fall Series. His agent said a decision will come later.

If he were to play either the McGladrey Classic at Sea Island or the season-ender at Disney, Simpson likely would need to finish around 20th to pass Donald on the money list.

Donald, whose wife is expecting their second child, is playing the next two weeks on the European Tour, at the Dunhill Links Championship and a title defense at the Madrid Masters. He has a roughly $2.2 million lead over U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy.

Depend on the birth of his child, Donald might play the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai in early November, but is more likely to play the European Tour’s season-ending Dubai World Championship in early December.