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LONDON: Luke Donald has been recognized by Queen Elizabeth II for spending almost a year at the top of golf’s world rankings.
The Englishman, who has spent 48 weeks as No. 1 since May last year, was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen’s birthday honors list released on Saturday.
Donald also topped money lists on both sides of the Atlantic in 2011 — an unprecedented achievement — but still hasn’t won a major title.
“I am truly honored to be awarded an MBE by Her Majesty, particularly in her Jubilee year,” Donald said from the U.S. Open in San Francisco.
Former England football goalkeeper David James and recently retired Wales rugby winger Shane Williams were also awarded MBEs.
Showjumper Nick Skelton, who is set to compete in the London Olympics, was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).
Donald has won six tournaments — three in the United States and three on the European Tour — over the past two seasons and is set to be part of Europe’s Ryder Cup team to face the U.S. in Medinah, near Chicago, in September.
“Both 2011 and 2012 have been very significant years for me, both personally and professionally, and I am touched that my accomplishments have been recognised in this way,” Donald said.
Compatriot Lee Westwood, who also became No. 1 for the first time in 2011, received an OBE in the Queen’s birthday honors last year. -- AP