Donald credits one-year-old daughter as inspiration in his rise up rankings

elle donald, luke donald
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Watching his daughter growing and learning every day helped motivate Luke Donald to grow and learn in golf.
Mark Garrod
PA Sport


Published: Monday, May 30, 2011 | 3:28 p.m.

New world No. 1 Luke Donald gives part of the credit for his stunning rise to his one-year-old daughter.

Having come so close in the past, Donald finally knocked Lee Westwood off the top spot Sunday by beating him in a playoff for the BMW PGA Championship title at Wentworth. And the 33-year-old has hailed the impact baby Elle has had on his life.

"She really is an inspiration to me," said Donald, who is due to become a dad again in November. "Just watching her grow and every day learning new skills, adapting, becoming better and better -- that's all I'm trying to do at golf too.

"Every day just try and figure a way to improve. She does that,” he added. "My daughter is the best -- she sleeps 12 hours every night and it's nice to come home even when you finish second or don't quite close out a tournament. When you've got her little face smiling back, you're able to forget things pretty quickly."

Donald has now finished in the top 10 in his each of his past nine tournaments, earning him more than $5 million in prize money. As great as the money is, Donald insists his target has always been to become world No.1.

"Money is not really that important. I've always said winning is top of the list,” said Donald, who becomes only the third Englishman after Westwood and Nick Faldo to top the rankings. "To come through in these circumstances in one of the biggest tournaments in the world, going head-to-head with Lee, is pretty special.

"No. 1 feels fantastic -- a great honor, a great achievement,” he said. "It's something that will be a great story when I'm an old man telling my grandkids that I was once the best player in the world at golf. But just because I've reached the pinnacle doesn't mean my work is done. I have a lot more to accomplish."