Luke Donald must be absolutely exhausted. He has just been crowned king of golf in both
Europe and America, the first man to do so; he has just completed a season which saw him record top 10 finishes in 20 of his 25 events; he is grieving the recent loss of his father, who died just a few weeks ago; and he has two baby girls, with the youngest, Sophia, being born just a few days after his father's death while the other, Elle, has only just celebrated her first birthday.
Yet despite all that, and with Christmas less than a fortnight away, he still finds the energy and inclination to fly to the other side of the world to play in the Australian Masters.
No doubt Donald is being paid a vast appearance fee to play at Victoria Golf Club, but considering that he has earned £8.4 million in prize money this year - more than Tiger
Woods has ever banked in a single season - he could still have covered his gas bill even if he had pulled out.
So here's a question: Why is Donald playing an event so far away at a time when he should be cosied up at home with his family, enjoying the festive spirit, cradling his new bundle of joy and lighting cigars with 500 Euro notes?
The simple answer is that Donald is one of the most driven athletes on the planet. This answer, though straightforward, is one that's usually pretty unsatisfying to ordinary Joes, because if we understood that mindset then we, too, would be masters of our respective universes. And if that were the case then we'd be far too busy wielding our power to bother with the reading (or writing) of golf blogs.
Yet there's a more complicated answer, too, one which asks why Donald has suddenly become the most driven golfer out there after spending years not quite managing to turn his talent into world domination. What Donald has benefitted from is an extreme example of the 'nappy factor', a well-documented phenomenon whereby golfers who have recently reproduced suddenly start winning events left, right and centre, presumably because they've been inspired by some primal, caveman-style urge to provide for their families.
It's something that golf betting guru Keith Elliott has used for years to predict
winners, and there are a host of striking precedents: to give just a few examples, Phil Mickelson finally won his first Major a year after the birth of his son Evan, Zach Johnson and Trevor Immelman both won The Masters soon after children were born, while Ernie Els went on a run of one victory and seven further top 10s his first ten Majors after the birth of his son, Ben.
And Donald himself is convinced that the nappy factor lies at the root of his stunning 2011.
"There's no coincidence between my successes on the golf course and the birth of my first child. Becoming a father really helped me as a golfer. I was able to let
go of mistakes," Donald said before securing the European crown in Dubai.
"It has made me grown-up. It puts things into perspective that I'm going to try my a*** off at golf. If it doesn't work out, so be it. I've got a healthy family at home."
The irony, of course, is that Donald's latest efforts to go out and provide for his family
now involve him being separated from them by the 9,672 miles that lie between Chicago and Melbourne. Not that any of that will matter should he come home with a fifth trophy of the season, and another novelty giant cheque tucked under his arm.
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Amid the hoopla of well-earned congratulations that Donald has received for his feat of
winning both money lists, it's worth noting that he is not the first man to win the most money on both sides of the Atlantic in a single season.
That accolade goes to Tiger Woods, who has done it no fewer than six times: in 1999, 2000, 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2007. That's despite the fact that Tiger has never plied his trade in Europe (unlike every other world number one in golfing history apart from David Duval and one-week-wonder Tom Lehman, fact fans)
This comes down to the fact that Majors and World Golf Championships events count towards official money won on both Tours, even though six out of the eight annual events have invariably been held on American soil.
The difference is that Woods has never played the pre-requisite minimum number of events needed to officially take up membership of the European Tour, whereas Donald's 13 European events this season have been enough for him.
Of those 13 events, only six were actually played in Europe: the Volvo World Match Play,
BMW PGA Championship, Scottish Open, Open Championship, Dunhill Links Championship and Madrid Masters. The Dubai World Championship was Donald's only other 'proper' European Tour event.
None of this diminishes Donald's achievement, since to balance membership requirements on both continents Donald has several times played one week in one continent, and the next week on another.
All of which brings us right back to where we started: Luke Donald must be absolutely exhausted.