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Luke Donald is 30 today. One of the golden boys of English golf starts his fourth decade from the comfortable position of seventeenth in the world. Oh yes, and he is newly married, too, after a three-day celebration on a Greek island in midsummer.

Donald flew to Las Vegas yesterday to be an interested spectator at the Floyd Mayweather Jr v Ricky Hatton bout tomorrow night. With him were Diane, his wife, Christian, his brother and caddie, and a group of friends from his years at the Royal Grammar School, in High Wycombe. Some time during the next few days, perhaps before he settles down to watch the boxing or tries his hand at blackjack, Donald might pause and ask himself: could life be any better?

Well, he could have won more than two tournaments in Europe and more than three in the United States since turning professional in 2001. He could have a lower stroke average on the PGA Tour in the US than this year’s 70.12 and he could have climbed the world rankings in the past year, not fallen seven places. Overall, he could have done better in major championships than third at the 2005 Masters and the 2006 US PGA.

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