England’s Luke Donald retained his BMW PGA Championship title and returned to No. 1 in the golf rankings, three weeks after ceding top spot to Rory McIlroy.
The 34-year-old finished on 15-under par at Wentworth near London, four shots ahead of countryman Justin Rose and Scotland’s Paul Lawrie, to record a seventh victory on the European Tour.
“To come here and defend, and get back to No. 1 as a side note, is very sweet indeed,” Donald told the British Broadcasting Corp.
Donald first led the Official World Golf Ranking by winning this tournament a year ago and has held the position for 45 weeks, with Northern Ireland’s McIlroy having three brief spells at the top totaling seven weeks.
McIlroy failed to make the cut two days ago after finishing in a tie for 133rd out of 150 at the halfway point. He also had an early exit at the Players Championship in Florida two weeks ago.
Donald, the overnight leader heading into today’s final round, only needed a top-eight finish to return to No. 1. He bogeyed the par-5 fourth hole before hitting five birdies in his 4-under round.
Donald, who also has five victories on the U.S. PGA Tour, collects a check for 750,000 euros ($940,000).
Lawrie came into contention with a 6-under round and finished in a tie for second when Rose missed a putt on the final green. Peter Lawrie of Ireland was another three shots back.
Germany’s Marcel Siem, who finished joint seventh, had a hole in one at the second hole today.