Donald pipped by Westwood in English quest to be world No 1

Luke Donald saw his world No 1 dream cruelly snatched away on the third hole of sudden death at The Heritage last night. But English golf could still go to bed content in the knowledge that one of theirs would be heading the rankings when they are published this morning. Lee Westwood, and his many admirers, will feel he is back where he belongs.



Indeed, he has spent only eight weeks at No 2 before reclaiming the game's most coveted berth off Martin Kaymer. Westwood did so courtesy of a three-shot victory in the Indonesian Masters, his first victory of the year. As it happened to be his 38th birthday, Westwood was in celebration mood anyway. But when Donald failed to prevail in South Carolina, there was even more reason to spill the bubbly.

Donald's defeat to Brandt Snedeker on his beloved Harbour Town course was difficult for the 33-year-old to take. He led for so long and showed great courage; first to get up and down on the final hole of regulation to keep his challenge alive; then to birdie the 18th from 12 feet on the first hole of the shootout; then to enact another great sand escape on the next, the 17th. It was a display fully deserving of him becoming the fourth Briton to assume golf's highest mantle. But in Snedeker, Donald came up against a man inspired.

The American's 64 for a 12-under total was impressive enough – but the manner in which he followed Donald into the hole from 10 feet on the first hole of sudden death was remarkable. When Donald bogeyed the 18th on his third visit – his putt for par off the green desperately staying above ground after rattling the lip of the cup – Snedeker's first title in four years was confirmed.

With respect to Westwood's achievement, English golf breathed a heavy sigh of "what might have been". A Donald victory would have given the country the top-two places on the rankings for the first time since their inception 25 years ago. Instead England must be content with Nos 1 and 3. Westwood made sure of it with his comfortable success over Thongchai Jaidee and was characteristically laidback about the permutations.

"It was about coming here this week and trying to win and I've done that," said Westwood, whose 69 at Royal Jakarta gave him a 19-under total. "I've ticked every box this week so we will have to wait and see what happens."

Westwood, who spent 17 weeks at No 1 until being usurped by the German Kaymer in February, was understandably relieved. "It was quite some day," he said. "I knew it wasn't going to be easy with a five-shot lead. Park [Hyun-bin] played well on the front nine and Thongchai was making many birdies. But I was experienced enough to know that patience was the key. When you are coming down those last few holes, the only person who knows what to do better is yourself."



The New Top 10

1 L Westwood (Eng) 7.65pts
2 M Kaymer (Ger) 7.52
3 L Donald (Eng) 7.37
4 P Mickelson (US) 6.51
5 G McDowell (N Irl) 5.84
6 T Woods (US) 5.72
7 R McIlroy (N Irl) 5.64
8 P Casey (Eng) 5.59
9 S Stricker (US) 5.48
10 M Kuchar (US) 5.21

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West, performing in New York last week, has been the subject of controversy as rock's traditional headline slot at Glastonbury is lost once again
music
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Life and Style
Drinking - often heavily - is a running theme throughout HBO's Game of Thrones adaptation
food + drink
News
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living