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Top 20 Golfers for 2012 Majors: No. 8 Luke Donald


They’re the cream of the major championship crop, circa 2012 — the Athlon Major Championship Dream Team. Throughout the month of March, we'll be unveiling Athlon Sports’ 20 players to watch for majors season, with commentary on each from the Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee.

No. 8:Luke Donald

Born: Dec. 7, 1977, Hemel Hempstead, England | Career PGA Tour Wins: 5 (6 on European Tour)|2011 Wins (Worldwide): 4| 2011 Earnings (PGA Tour): $6,683,214 World Ranking: 1

Brandel Chamblee's Take:

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The reason I don’t have the No. 1 player in the Official World Golf Rankings ranked higher, or more likely to do well in the majors in 2012, is simple: He doesn’t drive the ball well enough. In 2011, Donald was 127th in total driving on the PGA Tour, and in 2010 he was 186th. This has been his problem throughout his career, and it is the reason that, despite being by far the best putter in the world and by far the best bunker player in the world, he struggles in the majors. For example, he never hit more than three fairways in a row at last year’s U.S. Open and never hit more than four in a row at the British Open, and he is not powerful enough to play from the rough. 

His best chance to win his first major is at The Masters, where he finished fourth last year and he has three top 10s in the last seven years.

Major Championship Résumé
Starts: 34
Wins: 0

2011 Performance:
Masters - T4
U.S. Open - T45
British Open - Cut
PGA Championship - T8

Best Career Finishes: 
Masters - T3 (2005)
U.S. Open - T12 (2006)
British Open - T5 (2009)
PGA Championship - T3 (2006)
Top-10 Finishes: 6
Top-25 Finishes: 12
Missed Cuts: 11

—Brandel Chamblee is lead analyst for the Golf Channel. Be sure to follow him @ChambleeBrandel on Twitter.