Luke Donald Regains World Number One After Successful Defense Of BMW PGA Championship

Luke Donald of England has successfully defended the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth thereby regaining the world number one ranking held by Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland.

Donald, 34, becomes only the third player to retain the title and clinched his sixth tournament win in 15 months.

The Englishman needed only a top-eight finish to take top spot after McIlroy missed the cut at Wentworth, and held a two-shot lead going into the final day and only fleetingly looked like relinquishing that, eventually winning by four shots.

Justin Rose and Paul Lawrie shared second, with the Scot rising up the leaderboard after a fine final round 66.

Lawrie, the former Open champion, played the best golf of the day, making eagle at the fourth and picking up five further birdies (and just one solitary bogey) on the way to six-under par round that helped him tie Rose at 11-under.

Another Lawrie, Irishman Peter Lawrie, came fourth, thanks to a snaking 30-footer for birdie at the final hole.

South African Branden Grace, a two-time winner already this season, capped off a fine week with a 70 to round out the top five at seven-under.

Grace narrowly edged out compatriot Richard Sterne, who was another to earn himself a few extra pounds thanks to a late birdie. A regulation four at the 18th saw Sterne sneak under-par for the day with a round of 71, good enough to put him on his own in sixth at six-under.

Marcel Siem used that momentum to fire himself to a round of 69, good enough for a five-under par finish that was matched by Italian Francesco Molinari (71) with Ernie Els brought his tournament to a close by also finishing five-under.

David Drysdale and James Morrison, the leading duo after 36 holes, both finished four-under for the tournament after recovering following harrowing experiences on Saturday. That was a score also matched by Ian Poulter and Alvaro Quiros.

Other notable performances saw Martin Kaymer and Rafael Cabrera-Bello finish three-under, with former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel a shot further back at two-under.

Meanwhile Lee Westwood, loser to Donald in a play-off in this event 12 months ago, had to settle for an altogether more disappointing finish this year, as a final round 74 left him just outside the top 30 at one-over.

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