Donald consolidates his No. 1 ranking as Woods falls down to No. 30

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No. 1-ranked Luke Donald has three wins and three runner-up finishes so far in 2011.
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PGA.com news services

Series: PGA Tour

Luke Donald says he can take "a lot of positives" from his tie for second second place at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational as he looks ahead to this week's PGA Championship.

The world No. 1 easily held onto the top spot in the Official World Golf Ranking as he had only three bogeys in the 72 holes and finished four strokes behind winner Adam Scott. That has taken him almost more than $2 million ahead of Masters champion Charl Schwartzel at the head of the European Tour "Race to Dubai" with more than $4.5 million -- already more than Lee Westwood's winning total two years ago. Donald also leads the PGA Tour money list, with almost $4.3 million in winnings.

OFFICIAL WORLD GOLF RANKING

Luke Donald is now in his 11th week at the top of the world ranking.

Player

Points

1. Luke Donald

10.10

2. Lee Westwood

8.26

3. Martin Kaymer

7.10

4. Rory McIlroy

6.98

5. Steve Stricker

6.90

6. Phil Mickelson

5.95

7. Jason Day

5.80

8. Dustin Johnson

5.63

9. Adam Scott

5.50

10. Nick Watney

5.28

The top three of Donald, No. 2 Lee Westwood and No. 3 Martin Kaymer remained the same in this week's ranking. Rory McIlroy advanced one spot to No. 4 and Steve Stricker dropped down to No. 5. Phil Mickelson stayed sixth, with Jason Day rising to No. 7 and Dustin Johnson slipping to No. 8. Scott, with his Bridgestone victory, jumped to No. 9 from his previous perch at No. 17, and Nick Watney dropped down to No. 10.

The second 10 includes No. 11 Matt Kuchar, No. 12 Charl Schwartzel, No. 13 Graeme McDowell, No. 14 K.J. Choi, No. 15 Bubba Watson, No. 16 Paul Casey, No. 17 Ian Poulter, No. 18 Kim Kyung-Tae, No. 19 David Toms and No. 20 Robert Karlsson.

Tiger Woods continued his fall, dropping down to No. 30 after finishing midpack at the Bridgestone. Woods continues to pay the price for his long absences over the past two years – he has played only 30 official ranking events in that time, far fewer than any of the other players above and around him in the rankings.

As happy as Donald is, however, he still hasn’t won a major and the last chance this year comes in the PGA Championship at the Atlanta Athletic Club.

A month ago, Donald cantered to victory in the Scottish Open on the eve of the British Open, his closing 63 being the lowest round of his European Tour career. Five days later, he missed the halfway cut at Royal St. George’s.

As he says, all he can do is keep trying and keep putting the work in with his coach Pat Goss and his mental coach Dave Alred.

"It was a good week -- a lot of positives,” said Donald. "Obviously it's disappointing that three out of four days I really felt like I gave a lot away on the greens, but it's probably one of the best ball-striking weeks I've had for a while. I felt really comfortable off the tee and my iron play was good.

"I gave myself a lot of opportunities and around a course that's quite tight and demanding in places, it was very encouraging," he explained. "I'm not going to worry too much about the putter. I've always felt like I'm a good putter and those things will come around. I've just got to keep being patient and keep giving myself opportunities."

Donald now has three runner-up finishes to go with his three wins in 2011 -- and an amazing 18 top-10s in his last 23 starts.