Double for Luke Donald as play-off win secures world number one

LUKE Donald dethroned Lee Westwood as world number one in the most dramatic way possible yesterday - beating him in a play-off to win the European Tour's flagship event at Wentworth.

The two Englishmen went into sudden death at the BMW PGA Championship after Westwood missed a six-foot birdie putt on the par-five final hole.

Back to the tee they went, and after Donald had pitched to six feet, the man who ended the long reign of Tiger Woods last October saw his 93-yard shot spin into the water.

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Needing to hole his next shot to stand any chance, Westwood missed that, then failed to make his putt and so ran up a double-bogey seven.

It left Donald with three putts for it, but he needed only one to reach the summit of golf for the first time.

"Sounds pretty good, doesn't it?" he said after being hailed as the number one as well as being handed the coveted trophy and a cheque for more than 655,000.

"Hopefully there will be many more of these victories, but I will savour this - it's an amazing achievement. It's something you always dream about and to win against one of the best fields we will have all year is very, very special."

That high-class field included all four current major champions, seven of the game's top nine and all but the injured Padraig Harrington of the winning Ryder Cup team last year.

Although Westwood was so close to achieving a third successive stroke play victory, nobody can say that his Celtic Manor team-mate does not deserve top spot.

This was Donald's ninth successive top-10 finish, a run that began with his victory at the WGC-Accenture Match Play in Arizona in February.

In that run, he has earned more than 3million - and that works out at 77,140 for every round, or 4,200 for every hole.

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He also became the third successive English player to win after Paul Casey and Simon Khan, and Simon Dyson's third place meant that Englishmen filled the top three spots in the tournament for the first time since 1974.

Donald then admitted that when the runner-up was called up at the prize-giving, he very nearly stepped forward instead of Westwood.

He was second at the Volvo Match Play in Spain last week and at the Heritage tournament after a play-off in South Carolina last month.On both occasions a win would have made him number one.

The 33-year-old was also second to Khan a year ago - after taking seven on the penultimate hole.

He stood on the same 17th tee sharing the lead again yesterday afternoon and a two-stroke swing between the pair at the previous hole.

Westwood, two behind at the start of the day, had gone two in front with a brilliant birdie at the 15th after his drive had been pulled into the crowd.

He three-putted the next, and Donald, in the group behind with 18-year-old Italian Matteo Manassero, hit his approach to within 18 inches of the flag.

Neither could find a birdie at the two closing par fives, Westwood missing from six feet on the last for a 68 that set the target of 278, six under par.

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Donald forced sudden death by making a par there from the fairway bunker, but on his return he could not play the 539-yard hole - now a three-shotter for him after the controversial decision before last year's championship to introduce a stream in front of the green - any better.