Donald resumes English battle for No 1 ranking

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The Independent Online

In New Orleans and South Korea, the contest between Englishmen to be world No 1 resumes today. Luke Donald, the current No 3, plays the Zurich Classic in Louisiana, hoping to atone for his play-off defeat in The Heritage title. He is seeking to overtake Lee Westwood, who regained his supremacy in Indonesia last weekend and competes this week for the Ballantine's Championship in Incheon.

Donald had the opportunity to reach the summit on Sunday. He was playing in South Carolina but his contest slipped to a play-off, where he was beaten by American Brandt Snedeker. The 33-year-old is certain he will have other opportunities to go top. "It would be something great to talk to the grandkids in 30 years' time and say that you were the best in the world, but I still have a lot of chances to do that," he said after the play-off defeat.

Even if Donald fails to catch Westwood this week (Germany's Martin Kaymer sits at No 2), his momentum is taking him towards the leader. Donald has gained more ranking points compared with last season than any other top-10 player, and he leads the field at the TPC Louisiana course along with Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell, two places below Donald at No 5.

Thousands of miles away, at the Blackstone Golf Club near Seoul, Westwood is hopeful of successfully holding off Donald's challenge at the Ballantine's. "I have great expectations. I played well last week. My confidence is high," Westwood said.

"If I play as well as I played last week, and keep that kind of form, hopefully I'll be in a position Sunday afternoon with nine holes to go and have a chance to win the tournament." The 38-year-old heads a strong field including Ian Poulter.