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Stunning rally gives Donald money title

LAKE BUENA VISTA — Already No. 1 in the world, Luke Donald left little doubt who was No. 1 on the PGA Tour.

Believing his only chance to capture the PGA Tour money title was to win at Disney, Donald ran off six straight birdies on the back nine Sunday and closed with 8-under 64 to come from five off the lead and win the Children's Miracle Network Classic.

"This is one of the most satisfying wins of my career," Donald said.

Donald, who trailed Webb Simpson by $363,029 coming into the final tournament of the year, was two behind Simpson when they made the turn. Then came a performance that ranks among Donald's best, even in his best season of golf.

He holed four straight birdie putts inside 8 feet, took the lead with an 18-foot birdie on the par-5 14th, then sealed his rally with a 45-foot birdie on No. 15.

"Everything was on the line," said Donald, who finished at 17-under 271 for a two-shot win over Justin Leonard. "I'm thrilled and over the moon."

It was his second tour win of the year. Donald also won the points-based player of the year award from the PGA of America and the Vardon Trophy for the lowest adjusted scoring average. With no one else winning more than twice this year, Donald established himself as a heavy favorite to be the tour's player of the year, voted on by players.

"The fact is, playing against the best player in the world, he's going to do something great like that most of the time, and he did," Simpson said.

Donald kept alive his bid to become the first player to win the money title on the PGA and European tours in the same season. His lead in Europe is just more than $1.8 million over Rory McIlroy with five events left.

LPGA: Yani Tseng won the Taiwan Championship in Yang Mei for her 10th worldwide victory of the year and third in front of her home fans. She closed with 6-under 66 to finish at 16-under 272, five strokes ahead of Azahara Munoz and Amy Yang. Tampa resident Kristy McPherson shot 76 to finish 11 over. Tampa's Cindy LaCrosse shot 72 for 14 over.

European: Spain's Sergio Garcia won the Castello Masters for his first title in almost three years, shooting 8-under 63 to finish at 27-under 257 and dominating on his home course for an 11-stroke victory.

Stunning rally gives Donald money title 10/23/11 [Last modified: Sunday, October 23, 2011 10:24pm]

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