You've got to feel a bit for Luke Donald. He's the No. 1 player in the world according to the Official World Golf Rankings, but even at that lofty perch he's still a co-star to the two most significant forces in the golf world today.
Donald is in the running to lead the money lists of both the European and PGA tours, an unprecedented achievement. He took the PGA Tour title earlier this year, and would have run away with the European title had McIlroy not found a higher gear in recent weeks. And while Donald is relatively safe -- McIlroy would have to win and Donald would have to finish outside the top nine -- the world No. 1 knows just how talented his pursuer is.
"I think of the guys I've played out here on tour, Rory has the most talent that I've ever played with," he said at a press conference prior to the Dubai World Championship. He's young and he's got a great future ahead of him and I see him winning lots of tournaments and lots of majors."
Most talent ever? That seems like a bit of a challenge to a certain You-Know-Who, and sure enough, the Tiger Woods question came up immediately afterward.
"I know Tiger is very, very close and obviously I think Tiger's work ethic has always been tremendous, and his mindset, as well," Donald said. "I think his mindset is what has separated himself from the field when he was really at the top of the game. But in terms of talent, I think Rory has more talent."
Big talking there by Donald. We'll have to see whether Tiger comes back strong in 2012, because right now, McIlroy has the decisive edge. All time? Well, 14 to 1 seems pretty definitive, doesn't it?
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- Luke Donald