'Unbeatable' Donald would be worthy world No 1, says Kaymer
Wednesday 25 May 2011
Lee Westwood is hanging on to the world No 1 tag by a slither from his countryman Luke Donald, but the man ranked in third believes justice would be served if the latter took over here at this week's BMW PGA Championship.
"I think the way he is playing Luke deserves to be the No 1," said Martin Kaymer, with a statement that may surprise Westwood. The German has his own chance of returning to No 1 if he finishes in the top two at the European Tour's flagship event, but after being beaten by Donald last week he sees only one global leader.
"I just had no chance," explained the 26-year-old, recalling his 5&3 defeat in the semi-final of the Volvo World Match Play Championship. "I won only one hole and that was after virtually the only golf shot he missed all day. I felt like saying, 'Give me a chance.'"
Of course, if Donald had seen off Ian Poulter in the final at Finca Cortesin he would already be No 1. As it was, the 33-year-old closed the gap at the top to just 0.05 of a point, meaning to leapfrog Westwood he only has to finish ahead of his Ryder Cup partner this week.
With 13 top-10 placings out of his last 14 events and having come runner-up here last year, Donald's challenge to Westwood's position is as obvious as it is ominous – particularly as Westwood's PGA record is verging on the atrocious having missed the cut in seven of the last 10 years.
At least the 38-year-old will be pleased to see the "tweaks" made to the radical West Course alterations, which overshadowed last year's tournament. Westwood was critical of certain aspects of the £6.5m makeover – overseen by Ernie Els, with a little too much guidance from the owner, Richard Caring – but the faults apparently have been fixed. However, Darren Clarke, Westwood's great friend, yesterday warned that his fellow pros may have something more natural to bemoan.
"They've enlarged the greens at the eighth where it was very, very severe and at the par-five 18th because not enough guys went for it in two," said the Ulsterman. "But in light of the forecast, we can expect it to be windy all week. So with Wentworth playing firm, fast and with the new challenge, we can expect it to be very, very tough."
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