Donald wins PGA Championship, takes world top spot

Donald deposed Irishman Rory McIlroy who held the top ranking since 6 May.

Luke Donald: back on top.
Luke Donald: back on top.
Image: Steve Parsons/PA Wire/Press Association Image

LUKE DONALD SUCCESSFULLY defended his PGA Championship title at Wentworth today and went back to the top of the world rankings.

The Englishman carded a four-round total of 273, 15-under par and won by four shots from 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 number one.

It is the fourth time Donald has topped the global rankings.

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

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.

Two more South Africans followed with Richard Sterne in sixth and Ernie Els, who earlier paid a donation to charity after his inappropriate remarks about the course, in seventh along with Francesco Molinari.

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 here after Paul Casey, Simon Khan and Donald’s first victory last year.

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Rose got level with Donald with back-to-back birdies at the third and fourth whilst Donald dropped a shot at the fourth. However Donald responded by holing putts of 15 and 18 feet at the sixth and seventh to go clear again.

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

That was game, set and match for Donald who did not need to do anything rash over the last two holes and sensibly laid up on the par-5 18th, resisting the temptation to take on the water in front of the green, and made a solid par for a 68 and a comfortable.

The early excitement was provided by Germany’s Marcel Siem who holed in one at the 160-yard (141m) second hole with an 8-iron.

Coupled with his birdie at that first that moved Siem to five-under par but a run of three bogeys in six holes on the back nine derailed his challenge.

Scotland’s David Drysdale who had been level with Peter Lawrie after 18 holes put himself out of the running with a 78 on Saturday but battled back with a closing 70 to end in a share of 10th spot.

But it was a miserable day for Montgomerie who after recording a 78, his highest score here ever, in the third round fared even worse on Sunday with an 81 and finished last of those who made the

- © AFP, 2012

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