Britain's Luke Donald has been named PGA Tour Player of the Year for 2011
Donald first player to finish top of both the PGA and European Tour money lists
PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley named Rookie of the Year
World number one Luke Donald has been named the PGA Tour Player of the Year for 2011 after a season which saw the Briton achieve historic success in the U.S. and Europe.
The 34-year-old became the first player to finish top of both the European and PGA Tour money lists by coming third at the season-ending Dubai World Championship last weekend.
The recipient of the award is decided by a players vote, with Donald given the honor after registering 14 top-10 finishes in 19 PGA Tour events including two tournament victories.
Another player rewarded for a fine season was American Keegan Bradley, who was named Rookie of the Year after a breakthrough campaign which saw him clinch August’s PGA Championship in addition to the Byron Nelson Championship in May.
Donald thanked his peers for handing him the award, while also citing consistency as the main reason behind his impressive form.
“That’s a great honor to cap off what has obviously been an amazing year for me,” Donald told the PGA Tour’s official website.
“I’ve certainly made big strides this year. I think my driving accuracy percentages, my greens in regulation percentages have all gone up. My short game has stayed at a consistent level.
“That’s really been the difference this year, I think, in terms of my overall consistency, just taking it from where I maybe would not miss many cuts but finished 20th, 25th a lot, taking those to top 10s and five top fives and having chances to win.”
Donald is the first British player to claim the honor in its 21-year history and the first European since Irishman Padraig Harrington in 2008.
In addition to U.S. success, Donald also dominated in Europe with three tournament wins and 10 top-10 finishes.
Bradley was delighted to have been named Rookie of the Year, having become the first player since Ben Curtis in 2003 to claim victory in his first major appearance.
“I’m thrilled to win the Rookie of the Year,” the 25-year-old said. “It’s an award you can only win one time, that you only get one chance to win. It’s a huge honor.
“Next year I just look forward to getting back out there and playing, seeing these courses for the second time and knowing the players a little better.”