Donald, 33, would have topped the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time with a victory yesterday at Harbour Town Golf Links at Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
“It was going to be some big rewards if I won,” Donald told reporters. “To be No. 1 would be great, but it’s not everything. It certainly would be a tick in the box and it would be something great to talk to the grandkids about in 30 years.”
Instead, Westwood, who like Donald is English, regains the top spot from Germany’s Kaymer, the U.S. PGA champion. Westwood, on his 38th birthday, won the Indonesian Masters by three strokes yesterday.
“This will definitely be the most memorable birthday for me,” Westwood told reporters.
Westwood ended Tiger Woods’s record five-year reign atop the world rankings on Nov. 1 and was replaced by Kaymer in February. Westwood is the only golfer to reach No. 1 without having won one of the sport’s four major championships. He’s the second Englishman after six-time major winner Nick Faldo to top the rankings and the 14th person to hold the honor.
Snedeker, whose only prior win on the PGA Tour came at the 2007 Wyndham Championship, began the final round six shots behind third-round leader Donald.
Snedeker shot a 7-under-par 64 yesterday to move into a tie for the lead at 12-under par alongside Donald, who shot 70. Tommy Gainey, from Bishopville, South Carolina, had a 68 to finish third at 11-under par.
The win was worth $1.03 million to the 30-year-old Snedeker, who responded to Donald’s birdie at the first extra hole with one of his own.
The two made par at the second playoff hole, then Donald missed a par putt on the next hole to hand Snedeker the win.
“It was a lot of fun,” Snedeker told reporters. “I’ve been playing well the last month. When you’re doing that, it feels pretty easy.”
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