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Rory goes and wins the U.S. Open by eight shots, and everyone stopped talking about Luke,” Ogilvy said. “And he was like, `Hold on, here I am,’ and he goes and wins another tournament. And he’s been doing that for 12 months, hasn’t he? Every time the question has been asked, he’s answered it.”

One major question remains.

Donald made a strong bid at the Masters last year and tied for fourth. That’s as late in the final round as he has ever contended in a major. He has shown mettle at other tournaments, such as beating Westwood at Wentworth in a playoff last year to first get to No. 1, closing with 64 at Disney in a rare do-or-die moment in golf. His win at the Match Play Championship last year remains the most ruthless performance ever at that event. In six matches, Donald never trailed once and never reached the 18th hole.

“I’ve won some big tournaments over the years,” Donald said. “I’m figuring out the majors. I’m hoping I’ll be like Ben Hogan and win eight after I’m 35. I’m really starting to figure out myself, how I deal with pressure. I’m getting a lot closer. I’m finding ways to win tournaments, and hopefully, that will carry into winning majors.”

Mickelson won his first major at 33. Padraig Harrington won the first of his three majors at 35.

“For a lot of years, the Tiger factor fooled us into thinking you come out at 20 and dominate,” Adam Scott said. “That last happened in 1962 (with Jack Nicklaus). Greg Norman dominated the game in his 30s and 40s. Ben Hogan didn’t win a major until he was 33. Some players mature later. Some people peak at 18 and never get any better. Luke is a bit of a grinder. He has stepped up his game and found out what worked. It’s clear in my mind that right now, he’s the best player in the world.”