Donald tops rankings after Wentworth win27/05/2012 - 17:57:09
Luke Donald turned on the style again at Wentworth today to retain the BMW PGA title and grab the world number one spot back off Rory McIlroy.
Donald’s sixth victory in the last 15 months makes him only the third player - Sir Nick Faldo and Colin Montgomerie are the others – to win the European Tour’s flagship event two years in a row.
After being caught by Justin Rose four holes into the final round, the 34-year-old put his foot on the accelerator to go clear once more.
Once he had gone three clear with a 25-foot putt at the short 10th, Donald, the most reliable player in the game right now with the possible exception of America’s man of the moment Jason Dufner, never looked like losing.
Playing with supreme confidence, he ended up taking the first prize of almost £600,000 by four strokes from Rose and former Open champion Paul Lawrie with an accomplished closing 68 and 15-under-par total of 273.
Only a top-eight finish had been required for him to move to number one for the fourth time once McIlroy had missed the cut – by a shocking eight shots – on Friday.
That meant his latest success was never going to hit the heights of drama of last year, when he dethroned Lee Westwood by beating him in a play-off.
That was the start of Donald’s first reign, one which was to continue until this March, but he and McIlroy have now changed places six times since then.
On this week’s evidence there is a gulf between them, but the 23-year-old Northern Irishman, who has crashed out early from his last two tournaments, now heads back to America for what he hopes is the start of a big comeback.
Donald will also be at the Memorial tournament in Ohio starting on Thursday, but it is the US Open in San Francisco on June 14-17 that his sights are now on. Play like this and a first major will finally be his.