Donald is 5th World No 1 in six months

Luke Donald on Sunday became the 5th new, world number one in the space of six months at the BMW PGA Championships.

Luke Donald on Sunday became the 5th new, world number one in the space of six months when he won his sudden death play-off against Lee Westwood in the BMW PGA Championships.

The former World No 2’s victory over the former World No 1 followed a tense, see-sawing final round drama at famed Wentworth Golf Club in Surrey that only ended when Donald beat his fellow Englishman and Ryder Cup team-mate at the first hole of their play-off.

It was Donald’s first occupation of the World Ranking throne which has now changed hands on five occasions since the beleaguered, long-time holder, Tiger Woods, lost it to the solid and consistent Westwood on October 31 last year.

Woods dropped back to second at that stage and began the slow slide that on Monday saw him fall behind Ian Poulter into the Lucky/unlucky 13th slot on the rankings list, but Westwood was already under threat from Germany’s US PGA Champion Martin Kaymer, who on February 27 this year would, in turn, supplant Westwood on the top rung of the rankings list for the first time.

But he looked as uncomfortable as Westwood had with the crown in place and the fated, as opposed to feted No 1 ranking was soon back in Westwood’s hands when Kaymer’s winning streak dried up.

This was on April 24 when the top of the ranking list read: 1 Westwood 7.65, 2 Kaymer 7.52, 3 Donald 7.38.

Now, some 38 days later the updated World Rankings list shows that Donald has moved up into the hot seat with 9.14 points to Westwood’s 8.74 and Kaymer’s 7.41..

Europe remain in command of the Top 10 echelon of a World Ranking list that is more than a thousand strong.

And with Donald at No 1, Westwood at No 2 and Paul Casey at No 9, England is in the midst of a golden age.

Northern Ireland with Graeme McDowell at No 5 and Rory McIlroy at No 6 are also having a good run on a Top 10 list that includes only three Americans in Phil Mickelson (4th), Matt Kuchar (7th) and Steve Stricker (8th) and one South African, Masters champion Charl Schwartzel, at No 10.

The latest top 20 are:

1 Luke Donald 9.14
2 Lee Westwood 8.74
3 Martin Kaymer 7.40
4 Phil Mickelson 6.18
5 Graeme McDowell 5.62
6 Rory McIlroy 5.41
7 Matt Kuchar 5.15
8 Steve Stricker 5.15
9 Paul Casey 5.12
10 Charl Schwartzel 5.10
11 Bubba Watson 4.98
12 Ian Poulter 4.87
13 Tiger Woods 4.86
14 Dustin Johnson 4.86
15 Nick Watney 4.74
16 KJ Choi 4.45
17 Jim Furyk 4.39
18 Hunter Mahan 4.19
19 Jason Day 4.14
20 Francesco Molinari 4.10
Other leading Europeans:
23 Robert Karlsson
24 Alvaro Quiros
25 Martin Laird
26 Miguel Angel Jimenez
29 Justin Rose
30 Matteo Manassero
33 Edoardo Molinari
38 Anders Hansen
49 Peter Hanson
50 Padraig Harrington
52 Ross Fisher
67 Thomas Bjorn
70 Simon Dyson
74 Sergio Garcia
76 Raphael Jacquelin
77 David Horsey
79 Stephen Gallacher
83 Nicolas Colsaerts
87 Darren Clarke
90 Rhys Davies
95 Gregory Bourdy
97 Brian Davis