Luke Donald is ranked number one golfer in the world

Luke Donald World Ranked #1 Golfer
Luke Donald World Ranked #1

English golfer Luke Donald tops the world ranking after winning the BMW PGA Championship last weekend at Wentworth.

The thirty-three year old from Hemel Hempstead plays most of his golf these days in the United States but is also a member of the European Tour.  He turned professional in 2001 and first entered the world ranking Top 20 in 2005 and Top 10 in 2006.

He first played in the European Ryder Cup team in 2004 and in the same year won the WGC-World Cup for England with his partner Paul Casey.

Last month he became the second English golfer to be ranked number one player in the world by replacing Lee Westwood. His victory at Wentworth followed his biggest win to date in February 2011 when he beat Martin Kaymer to win the WGC-Accenture Matchplay Championship 3&2 in the final.

Watching golf over the past few years I saw Luke Donald as a very reliable, safe and consistent player but am surprised he has become ranked world number one.

Furthermore, previous to his much publicised meltdown, no one would have thought that in 2011 the name of Tiger Woods would not be at the top of the list, let alone falling out of the Top 10!

Official World Golf Ranking Top 20

1  Luke Donald,  England
2  Lee Westwood,  England
3  Martin Kaymer,  Germany
4  Phil Mickelson,  USA
5  Graeme McDowell,  N. Ireland
6  Rory McIlroy,  N. Ireland
7  Matt Kuchar,  USA
8   Steve Stricker,  USA
9   Paul Casey,  England
10 Charl Schwartzel,  South Africa
11 Bubba Watson,  USA
12 Ian Poulter,  England
13 Tiger Woods,  USA
14 Dustin Johnson,  USA
15 Nick Watney,  USA
16 K.J. Choi,  South Korea
17 Jim Furyk,  USA
18 Hunter Mahan,  USA
19 Jason Day,  Australia
20 Francesco Molinari,  Italy

For more information visit the Official World Golf Ranking website.

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Links Abu Dhabi – best golf course in the Middle East

Yas Links Golf Course in Abu Dhabi
Yas Links Golf Course in Abu Dhabi

Links Abu Dhabi, the new Kyle Phillips designed golf course is the “best course in the Middle East” according to the latest issue of Golf Course Architecture magazine.

The world-class development on Yas Island, home to the Yas Marina Formula 1 Circuit, venue of the season ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and the spectacular Ferrari World, the world’s largest indoor theme park, has received widespread critical acclaim.

It is the first Middle East design for leading course architect Kyle Phillips, creator of World Top 100 Course Kingsbarns, Scotland, as well as the highly rated Verdura Golf & Spa Resort (Sicily), Dundonald (Scotland), and The Grove (London), who has created an extraordinary links overlooking the Arabian Gulf that rides rolling sand hills along three kilometers of coastline, and features nine seashore greens.

This championship course is located on the west shores of Yas Island and includes a 5750 m2 (57000 ft2) luxurious clubhouse and world-class, floodlit practice ranges and academy of golf.

In a unique twist, Phillips was able to design not only the golf course, but the coastline along which the course runs. That’s because the channel along the western edge of Yas Island had to be dredged to produce the 1.8 million m3 (cubic metres) of fill used to construct the golf course. The result is a coastline that lends itself perfectly to exciting golf holes, and one that is also benefiting from an approved environmental programme that has introduced 130,000 mangrove plants.

Yas Links General Manager, Chris White, said: “Kyle has created a breathtaking golf experience at Yas Links and one that is unique in the Middle East. It is a rolling, heaving golf course, weaving through sand hills and wending its way along the shoreline with views of the Arabian Gulf on all 18 holes.

The course opened in March 2010 as a semi private golf club offering both golf and social membership as well welcoming guest play; and in January 2011 some of the world’s top golfers will experience Yas Links for themselves in 2011 when the world’s most prestigious one-day Pro-Am tournament moves to Abu Dhabi.

The Invitational on January 17, 2011, hosted by Abdullah Al Naboodah, will see some of the world’s best players join forces with 50 invited amateurs for a day of great competitive golf. World No.1 Lee Westwood, reigning US Open Champion Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy, Paul Casey, Sergio Garcia and Ross Fisher plus more to confirm.

For more information visit www.yaslinks.com.

Woods & Watney share Shanghai lead at half way stage

200px-tiger_woods_drives_by_allisonTiger Woods carded a consecutive five under par 67 to take a share of the lead with Nick Watney in the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions in Shanghai, at the half way stage.

Watney who had led the first days play, struggled a little on the second day hitting a two under 70 to keep a share of the lead with Woods, both now 10 under overall.

The chasing pack sit just one shot behind the leaders and include world number two Phil Mickelson, Ryan Moore and Alvaro Quiros, with Anthony Kim occupying third place on 8 under overall.

German Race to Dubai contender Martin Kaymer fell away with a two-over 74 to drop six shots back, while European money list leader Lee Westwood is tied for 23rd place at three under after two solid but unspectacular rounds.

Englishmen Ross Fisher and Paul Casey join Martin Kaymer on four under and six shots off the lead.

Although Watney could not match his first round score, both he and Woods produced four birdies on the back nine. Woods was frustrated earlier in the day with his putting, but ended in fine form, he said after day two;

“I got off to a good start and birdied the very first hole, but after that, I didn’t really make any putts. I certainly had some looks at them and didn’t really capitalise on anything and made a putt at nine and from then on I hit a lot of good putts and played the last 10 holes in five under.

It was a little bit frustrating not holing the putts, but the guys weren’t really running off and hiding and I knew that if I could play the back nine in three under that would be a pretty good number and I was able to do a couple better than that.”

Volvo World Matchplay Championship draw keeps top four apart

lee westwood leads the european money list
lee westwood leads the european money list

The top four players on the European money list have managed to avoid each other in the draw for the Volvo World Matchplay Championship in Spain. The group stages will be played at Finca Cortesin close to Marbella and will take place on the 18th green, with the semi finals on Saturday and the final on Sunday.

To fit all three group games into two days the players in the first two groups play twice on Thursday and those in the last two groups do the same on Friday.

Europe’s top money earners Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer, Rory McIlroy and  Paul Casey have been kept apart for the tournaments new round robin stage.

Current Race to Dubai leader Lee Westwood is seeded second and will be up against Camilo Villegas, Ross Fisher and India’s Jeev Milkha Singh.

Kaymer is up against Sergio Garcia, Robert Allenby and Oliver Wilson, McIlroy’s group is headed by Swede Henrik Stenson and includes Angel Cabrera and Simon Dyson.

The fourth quartet is made up of Paul Casey, returning from a torn rib muscle that has kept him sidelined since the start of August, Retief Goosen, Anthony Kim and Scott Strange.

Casey, Northern Ireland’s McIlroy and Germany’s Kaymer all have the chance to take the European number one spot from Westwood should they make the semi-finals.

Boston win moves Steve Stricker to number two in World Golf rankings

250px-fedex_cupsvgSteve Stricker’s victory in Boston’s Deutsche Bank Championship has lifted him above Tiger Woods in the FedEx Cup standings, with 5,605 points to Woods 4,696.

Stricker has also moved up in the world rankings where he now finds himself as number two to Tiger Woods runaway number one position. The pair currently look certain to make the Tour Championship, but last years FedEx Cup winner Vijay Singh was among the casualties in Boston and will not be defending his title.

Padraig Harrington is top of the European players going into The BMW Championship at Illinois tomorrow, he is in seventh place with nearest rival Ian Poulter back in 30th and currently just in the final championship group.

Other Europeans still in with a shout are  Luke Donald 32nd, Paul Casey 36th, Brian Davis 53rd, Sergio Garcia 55th and Fredrik Jacobson at 56th.