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Donald back on top

Updated: 2012-05-29 07:53
( China Daily)

Donald back on top

Luke Donald prepares to mark his ball on the 17th green during the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Golf Club in Wentworth, Surrey, on Sunday. The Englishman carded a four-round total of 273, 15-under par, and won by four shots over Scotland's Paul Lawrie and Justin Rose from England. Glyn Kirk / Agence France-Presse

Englishman rises to peak of the golfing world for the fourth time in a year, Reuters reports.

Luke Donald looked back with pride after successfully defending his PGA Championship title at Wentworth on Sunday and returning to the top of the world rankings. A year after becoming No 1 for the first time at the same event, Donald was back at the head of the list for the fourth time in his career.

The Englishman carded a four-round 273, 15-under par and won by four shots over Scotland's Paul Lawrie and Justin Rose from England.

Rose, who missed a six-foot putt at the last which would have given him second place outright, had put the pressure on during the front nine before Donald eased away to win and displace Rory McIlory as world No 1.

The 34-year-old said: "There is something special about going 12 months and still being No 1. We have swapped it a couple of times but to go a 12-month span is something I am very proud of and is a vindication that what I am doing is right and shows that my game is improving."

This was a much more comfortable win for Donald than last year's when he had to win a playoff against Lee Westwood to take the crown.

Donald said: "I enjoyed the walk up the 18th more this time with a four-shot lead. It is very special to come back here - this is the biggest event we play on the European Tour.

"I played nicely for the whole week but today was the most difficult day in terms of pressure. I had a two-shot lead but I was trying to defend and I had never successfully defended a title before.

"I felt some tension out there - it is not easy going out with a lead and trying to close out a tournament. Justin is a solid player and I knew he was not going to give it away - I had to go and earn it."

Scotland's Lawrie, who had a best-of-the-day 66, six-under par, had only one bogey on his card and finished with birdies on the last two holes, both par-5s to add to three other birdies and an eagle he had already collected.

Donald back on top

The Scot claimed his high finish proved he made the right choice in playing here and skipping the US Open next month.

He said: "I made my decision a long time ago that it was better for my schedule not to go across to America at that time. It means I can have two weeks off and then go straight through to the British Open. I knew some people wouldn't like it but it is best for me.

"The big priority for me is to get back into the Ryder Cup team and I feel the US Open is not a venue that's ever suited my game."

Ireland's Peter Lawrie, who had shared the lead after the first round, had two birdies in the first seven holes but his hopes went up in smoke with a triple-bogey seven at the eighth and he finished on 280, level par and in fourth spot with South African Branden Grace a further shot back in fifth.

Donald became only the third player to win back-to-back PGA titles following in the footsteps of Sir Nick Faldo (1980-1981) and Colin Montgomerie, who won three times from 1998 and this was the fourth English win in a row after Paul Casey, Simon Khan and Donald's first victory last year.

Donald played serene golf for the rest of the back nine making up shots at the 10th, 12th and 16th while Rose bogeyed the 16th after hitting his second shot into a greenside bunker and Donald shut the door.