When Luke Donald achieved the world No 1 ranking, there were many sceptics who believed he didn’t deserve the crown because he has yet to win a Major title. But after his win this week, there is very little anyone can say against his claim to the throne now.
Donald’s reign at the pinnacle of men’s golf has been in stark contrast to his most successful predecessor, Tiger Woods, and that, perhaps, is another reason why some have failed to get their heads around his lofty ranking.
Woods was a clear and undisputed champion at the height of his powers, he dominated the game with his unflappable confidence and remarkable power, while Donald unassumingly crept to the top through accuracy and consistency, and has held his position with the same strategy.
Does that mean Donald doesn’t deserve to be world No 1, or does it mean that a new era in golf has begun?
Donald's win in the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic saw him capture the PGA Tour moneylist title, and put him in an amazing position to become the first man in the history of golf to win the Order of Merits on both the PGA and European tours.
"It would mean a big deal to win both moneylists," Donald said.
"Getting to No 1 and holding onto it and extending my lead and winning four times now, you know, obviously that's a pretty good year," he admitted
It’s impossible to argue that there is a better player than the Englishman when guys who are playing full time on only one of the tours haven’t managed to out-earn him.
"I think I answered a lot of critics' questions, coming here knowing I had to win and coming up with the goods when I needed to," said Donald. "I feel like I've answered all the questions thrown at me."
It is quite amazing how success breeds positivity as well.
Once known as an also-ran because of how often he finished in contention without actually winning, ‘Luke Donald Disease’ (LDD) came to be an ailment suffered by players who regularly featured in tournaments without winning.
But now, since he has become world No 1 and started winning, there is little talk of LDD, and those early strong finishes are described as a sign of his unwavering consistency.
It is a feat that will surely silence the last of his doubters. I understand that golf is a traditional game and that the Majors are important, but, in the Mole's opinion, winning the two biggest tour's moneylists in the same season is a more difficult achievement. It also proves, without any shadow of a doubt, that Donald is the best player in the world right now.
He has the game to do it, but it is going to get more difficult the longer he goes without winning one. The pressure is just going to keep building on the Englishman something gives.
And after the stellar year he has had this year, there will be even more expecting eyes on him at the Major wins next year.