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.



Ian Poulter wins World Matchplay Championship

Ian Poulter beat fellow Englishman, Luke Donald 2&1 to win the Volvo World Matchplay Championship at Finca Cortesin in Spain yesterday.

Poulter came from behind in several matches and put his victory down to finding form with his putting.  His victory tasted sweeter as it came on his son Luke’s seventh birthday.

After lifting the trophy, Poulter told reporters:

“I thought it would be pretty special to win this today. I finally started holing some putts. I’ve been frustrated for a few months and you have to hole putts to win.”

Luke Donald, who beat German Martin Kaymer in the semi-final, could have replaced Lee Westwood as World Ranked #1 if he had beaten Poulter.

A disappointed Luke Donald told reporters afterwards.

“I ran out of steam a bit and didn’t take the opportunities I had.”

Ian Poulter pocketed a cheque for €800,000; while Luke Donald received €420,000.  Not bad for a few days golf in the sun!

Ian Poulter, Luke Donald, Martin Kaymer, Lee Westwood and other members of the successful 2010 European Ryder Cup team go head-to-head later this week at Wentworth in the BMW Championship.



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.

Phil Mickelson set to overtake Tiger Woods

After all of the hype surrounding Tiger Woods’ return to competitive action, it has been a relatively disappointing start to 2009 for the American.

Defeat in the Accenture Match Play Championship second round was followed by a struggle for consistency at the WGC-CA Championship a couple of weeks ago.

The latest twist is that, ahead of the US Masters, he could be overtaken in the rankings by Phil Mickelson. The gap between the two has decreased to 0.2 points in the last few weeks, presenting Phil Mickelson with an opportunity to become the No.1 ranked golfer for the first time.

The scenario for this to happen is for Tiger Woods to finish outside the top two of this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational in Bay Hill. Then, when Phil Mickelson returns to action next week, he will have the chance to leapfrog his fellow American at the Houston Open.

It would mean that Tiger Woods would be stripped of his No.1 ranking for the first time in 198 weeks. Even though it comes on the back of being eight months out injured, this will still be significant for both players.

Tiger Woods – who managed to hold onto the No.1 spot throughout his injury – will not enjoy the fact that his great rival Phil Mickelson could overtake him in the rankings.

Phil Mickelson on the other hand will be ecstatic. It is what he has been aiming for during the last few years and you just know he is going to enjoy every moment should the next couple of weeks work in his favour.

Nothing is certain as yet though as it all depends on where Tiger Woods finishes in this week’s Arnold Palmer event. It would come as no surprise if the 33-year-old turned on the style and won the tournament to prevent Phil Mickelson having his moment of glory.

Tiger Woods often performs when he really, really needs to and this may well be the case again in the next few days. He may see victory in Bay Hill as the springboard for his return to form and this can only be a good thing for golf.

Good luck Tiger!

Brendan Jones relishing Tiger Woods challenge

The majority of golf news in the last few days have covered one thing and one thing only – the return of Tiger Woods. The World No.1 is back in action this week after eight months out and it is fair to say that everyone connected with the sports is excited about his comeback.

However, with Tiger Woods hogging all of the headlines, not many have spoke of the man he will be facing in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.

Brendan Jones is the man charged with the challenge of taking on a determined Tiger Woods in Arizona and he has admitted that he sees it as a ‘chance of a lifetime’.

The World number 64 went on to describe Tiger Woods’ return as one of the most ‘anticipated comebacks’ in the history of the sport and the fact that he will be getting a ‘front row seat’ is a ‘great honour’. Overall, it seems clear that Brendan Jones is very excited about the whole situation.

As for his chances of success against Woods, well despite being the lowest ranked player in the tournament, he believes that he has ‘some chance’ of success.

The Australian went on to say that he has ‘nothing to lose’ and that he was ‘here to try and beat him’. All things considered though, Brendan Jones will just be counting himself fortunate to be competing with the best player around.

As much as match-play can throw up surprises from time to time, nobody will be expecting it to as Tiger Woods makes his eagerly anticipated return to professional golf.