Donald officially takes over as No. 1, with Kuchar climbing up into seventh

matt kuchar
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Matt Kuchar made the big move of the week among the top-ranked players, jumping up to seventh from his previous 10th-place perch.


Published: Monday, May 30, 2011 | 3:03 p.m.

Luke Donald dethroned Lee Westwood as world No. 1 in the most dramatic way possible -- beating him in a playoff to win the BMW PGA Championship, the European Tour's flagship event.

The two Englishmen went into sudden death after Westwood missed a six-foot birdie putt on the par-5 final hole at Wentworth. 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 off the green and into the water.


Five of the top nine players are from England or Northern Ireland.



1. Luke Donald


2. Lee Westwood


3. Martin Kaymer


4. Phil Mickelson


5. Graeme McDowell


6. Rory McIlroy


7. Matt Kuchar


8. Steve Stricker


9. Paul Casey


10. Charl Schwartzel


"Sounds pretty good, doesn't it?" Donald said after being hailed as the new No. 1. "Hopefully there will be many more of these victories, but I will savor this -- it's an amazing achievement, something I am very proud of."

Meanwhile, Ian Poulter has become the latest player to move ahead of Tiger Woods in the world rankings, with Poulter up to 12th and Woods down to 13th.

A week after winning the Volvo World Match Play, Poulter tied for 18th in the BMW PGA Championship,  but that was just enough to take him in front of Woods, who last week dropped from eighth to 12th.

After Donald and Westwood in the top two spots, PGA Champion Martin Kaymer remains third and Phil Mickelson sticks in fourth place. Northern Ireland’s dynamic duo, Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy, remain fifth and sixth, respectively.

Matt Kuchar made the big move of the week among the top-ranked players, jumping up to seventh from his previous 10th-place perch, with Steve Stricker again ranked eighth. Kuchar and Stricker have the same point average, but Kuchar has lost fewer points than Stircker this year and gained more points.

Paul Casey remains in ninth, with Masters champion Charl Schwartzel dropping from seventh last week to 10th place this week.

The second 10 includes No. 11 Bubba Watson, No. 12 Poulter, No. 13 Woods, No. 14 Dustin Johnson, No. 15 Nick Watney, No. 16 K.J. Choi, No. 17 Jim Furyk, No. 18 Hunter Mahan, No. 19 Jason Day and No. 20 Francesco Molinari.

Rookie Keegan Bradley jumped 109 spots up to 94th after his playoff victory at the HP Byron Nelson Championship.