Luke Donald frustrated at PGA Player of the Year delay

By Iain CarterBBC Sport golf correspondent
World Golf number on Luke Donald has spoken out about the PGA Tour's decision to delay voting on the Player of the Year Awards
Luke Donald is the first European to top US golf's money list

Luke Donald has expressed frustration at a last-minute delay in voting for the PGA Tour Player of the Year award.

Ballot papers will not now be sent out until after next week's WGC-HSBC Champions tournament in Shanghai.

PGA Tour players had been expecting the papers to arrive this week in the wake of the world number one's Disney victory in Florida.

The 33-year-old said: "Why suddenly change the rule the day after Disney? It doesn't make much sense to me."

The imminent birth of the Englishman's second child means he is unlikely to appear in Shanghai.

Donald's win in Florida saw him win the Tour's money list, and he is also the front-runner to claim the European Tour's Race to Dubai.

It was only when officials were alerted to the fact that the HSBC event in China partially counts on the Tour that it was decided to hold back the ballot papers.

While money earned by Tour players in Shanghai does not count on the money list, a victory would be deemed an official win and would carry with it the usual exemptions.

"I think the decision to add HSBC is a little sketchy," Donald added to the Golf Channel in the United States.

"I feel like even if I went to Shanghai and won, they'd find another event to add."

Donald was installed as favourite for the player of the year award after he swept through the field with a back nine of 30 to win what he thought was the season finale at Disney and with it the money list.

But if two-time winners such as Webb Simpson, Keegan Bradley or Nick Watney claim the title in China they may attract more votes for having won more PGA Tour events than any other player this season.

"To be honest everything needs to be simplified a little bit for the PGA Tour," added Donald. "There doesn't seem to be a beginning or an end.

"You finish the FedEx Cup and you think the season is over, then you have the Fall Series and you think that after Disney it's over. And now they are adding another event."

Donald has already been crowned the PGA of America's Player of the Year, an award that is determined on a statistical points system and has claimed four titles so far in 2011, including two in the US.

The world number one also leads the European Tour's Race to Dubai by more than 1.3 million euros (£1.13m) and, despite probably missing the Shanghai tournament, remains strong favourite to become the first player to win the money lists on both sides of the Atlantic.