Luke Donald will arrive in South Africa for the Nedbank Challenge at Sun City next week with his life in turmoil.
The world’s number one golfer saw his wife give birth to his second daughter this month – but he suffered the tragedy of losing his father Colin four days before.
On Twitter, Donald said following the birth of Sophia Ann Donald at 2.11am in Chicago on Friday morning, November 11 (11/11/11 for the world No1): "The No 1 has been gd 2 me, no more than 2day."
But after the death of his father, US-based Englishman Donald twittered: “With death there is pain and loss, but out of that comes light and appreciation. Appreciate what you have. I miss you dad x.”
The prolific tweeter was noticeably more cheerful this week, posting: “The best thing about being world No1 is not being No2!” and revealed his best-ever rounds: “61 at Conway Farms. 62 at Spyglass in competition.” Anything close to that will bring the house down at Sun City.
Donald also admitted to once breaking his club – at the tenth while competing in the Air Canada tournament in Vancouver in 2010 - before adding “Alright folks, I'm done. Back to daddy duties. Lost count of the nappies I’ve had to change. Catch u all later. Night tweeps!”
Donald, on the verge of becoming he first player in history to win the money title on both the American the PGA Tour and the European Tour in the same year, has had a week off while the President’s Cup battle rages in Australia.
With the old “Million Dollar Classic” next up, Donald is hoping for success before the final event of the European Tour season at the Dubai World Championship. He revealed he will end his year by competing in the Australia Masters, the final chapter in a prolific year for the boy who won the his local men’s championship at Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire, England, when he was just 15.
Both Donald and world No2 Lee Westwood, who won at Sun City last year when he was the world No1, will be competing for the $5m winner’s prize at Sun City from December 1-4 – but the two Brits will be up against FOUR major winners in the 12-man field.
World No4 Martin Kaymer of Germany, who won the 2010 US PGA, joins South Africa’s US Masters champion Charl Schwartzel and 2010 US Open winner Graeme McDowell as well as current Open champion Darren Clark of Northern Ireland.
Only one American - Jason Dufner – has secured an invitation as the Nedbank Classic compete with Tiger Woods' Chevron Challenge for big names in the first week of December.
There is a Sun City debut for South Korea's world No. 21 Kim Kyung-tae while top-class Scandinavians Anders Hansen, Thomas Bjorn and Robert Karlsson join England’s Simon Dyson to complete the dynamic dozen.
Kaymer, who won the last big tournament – the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai -
is now closing in on Donald, who was forced to bypass Shanghai because of his wife’s pregnancy.
Kaymer , who needs a victory at Sun City to maintain the pressure on the world No1 spot, said: “Obviously Luke is a very nice guy and he deserves to be No 1 in the world. It will be difficult to catch him, but that is what the sport is about, to challenge yourself, challenge the other players that you play with week in, week out, and of course I will try to give him a hard time.
“We’ll see. It’s not easy to get him away from the No 1 spot. It was an okay season, now it’s a good season. I played brilliant golf in Abu Dhabi (to win the HSBC Championship in January), and when I became the No 1 in the world in February after the World Golf Championships event in Arizona, my life has changed a little bit – not only mine, for the people I work with, my family.
“It has been a little awkward sometimes, because I was just not used to being in the spotlight. It took some time to get used to it, and hopefully it will happen again, because I know what’s going to happen, I know how to approach that.”