Donald wins at Wentworth to secure No 1 ranking

Updated: 2011-05-30 09:46
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Donald wins at Wentworth to secure No 1 ranking
Luke Donald of Britain plays a shot on the 8th hole during the final of the Volvo World Match Play Championship in Casares, near Malaga southern Spain, in this file photo taken on May 22, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]

VIRGINIA WATER - Luke Donald secured the world No 1 ranking by winning the BMW PGA Championship on Sunday, beating Lee Westwood in a playoff in what was a duel for top spot between the two Englishmen.

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On the first playoff hole, Donald landed his approach onto the No 18 green to within a few feet, while Westwood sent his shot into the adjacent water hazard to decide the tournament at Wentworth.

It is only the second stroke-play title in the past five years for Donald, who joins Westwood and Nick Faldo as the only Englishmen to hold the top spot since the rankings were introduced in 1986.

Donald will replace Westwood when the new rankings are released on Monday.

"Sounds pretty good, doesn't it," said Donald, last year's runner-up. "It's an amazing accomplishment. It's something I will be very proud of when I look back. I will savor this moment, it's very special. I think I will stay the same person, I hope I do. I'm looking forward to the challenge of staying No 1. I know Lee and Martin (Kaymer) will be chasing me very hard."

Having trailed co-leaders Matteo Manassero and Donald by two strokes entering the round, Westwood shot a 3-under 68 and Donald hit a 70 for both to total 6-under 278.

Simon Dyson of England (69) finished third at 280 after hitting a 69. Marcus Fraser of Australia (67), France's Raphael Jacquelin (71) and Shane Lowry of Ireland (67) were a further stroke back.

Donald had missed two previous chances to become No 1, losing to Ian Poulter in the World Match Play final last week in Spain and going down to Brandt Snedeker in a playoff at The Heritage in April.

But his consistency in finishing in the top 10 for the past nine tournaments - including winning the Accenture Match Play event in Arizona in February - ensured his first playoff victory on either the European or US Tour will give him the No 1 ranking.

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