McIlroy and Donald in battle for World No. 1

21/05/2012 15:01:28
Rory McIlroy and Luke Donald  (EuropeanTour)
Rory McIlroy and Luke Donald (EuropeanTour)

The tussle to be World Number One will once again be an enthralling sideshow to this week’s main event, the BMW PGA Championship, with Luke Donald and Rory McIlroy prepared for battle.

Donald is the only player who can overthrow McIlroy at the top of the Official World Golf Ranking, but he will need to repeat last year’s victory to guarantee a return to pole position.

If he does not triumph in The European Tour’s flagship event, as he did 12 months ago when he beat compatriot Lee Westwood in a play-off, it will depend on how McIlroy performs, although Donald must still finish eighth alone or better to have any chance of reclaiming the mantle of best player in the world.

Victory for Westwood, the man who deposed Tiger Woods as World Number One in October 2010 to start the ball rolling for European dominance, would leave him fractionally shy of the top spot.

Further down the Ranking, a number of players will be hoping for a good performance this week to ensure their place in the field for the second Major of the year, the US Open Championship, in three weeks’ time.

Monday May 21 was a cut-off date for qualifying for the US Open Championship through the top 60 in the Official World Golf Ranking, and Miguel Angel Jiménez in 60th place was the last of 16 European Tour Members to qualify through this route.

There is another cut-off date, June 11, for players looking to force their way into the top 60 in the next three weeks, so Matteo Manassero (62nd), Branden Grace (65th) and George Coetzee (72nd) will be hoping to pick up significant points at Wentworth to boost their chances of playing at the Olympic Club in California from June 14 – 17.

Monday May 21 was also the cut-off date for qualifying for The Open Championship, with the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking gaining entry. Former European Number One Robert Karlsson and Martin Laird earned their exemption through this category.