Donald sings praises of new world number two Stricker
Luke Donald paid tribute to Steve Stricker after the American held his nerve to win the Northern Trust Open at the Englishman's expense. Donald shot a closing 66 at Riviera Country Club near Los Angeles but it wasn't enough to prevent Stricker from holding on for a two-shot victory.
Stricker's win was enough to promote him to world number two at the expense of defending champion Phil Mickelson .
The victory continued a remarkable turnaround for the American since losing his Tour card in 2004. He won Comeback Player of the Year in 2006 and 2007, won three titles in 2009 and after three tournaments this year he has yet to shoot over par.
"If you look at his consistency and how much he's won, then I think it's deserved," Donald said of Stricker's new ranking. "It's a great testament to his will. I can't remember what he got to in the World Rankings -- 300 or 400 or something. To come back from that, it's a tough game mentally when you're not playing well, and to break that and come back and be where he is right now, that's great going."
Donald had been chasing his first PGA Tour title since the 2006 Honda Classic but he was pleased with his effort in making a contest of it. "I felt like I played nicely," he said. "I hit a lot of quality shots, felt very much in control and I hit a lot of fairways, greens, gave myself a lot of good looks at birdies."