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BMW European PGA Championship

Donald wins at Wentworth, regains No. 1 ranking

By STEVE DOUGLAS
AP Sports Writer
 

VIRGINIA WATER, England (AP) Luke Donald held off Justin Rose to win the BMW PGA Championship for the second straight year Sunday and overtake Rory McIlroy for the No. 1 ranking.

Donald won by four strokes after starting the fourth round at Wentworth with a two-stroke lead. He shot a 4-under 68 to finish at 15 under. Sharing second place at the European Tour's flagship event were Rose (70) of England and fast-closing Paul Lawrie (66) of Scotland.

This was Donald's second victory of the year, following the Transitions Championship in the United States in March.

``It gives me a great amount of satisfaction,'' said Donald, who first rose to No. 1 after beating Lee Westwood in a playoff at this tournament last year. ``To go a whole year and still be No. 1, I feel very fortunate right now.''

This is the fourth time Donald has been ranked. No. 1. It's the sixth change at the top of the rankings in 12 weeks between Donald and Ryder Cup teammate McIlroy.

McIlroy missed the cut at Wentworth after a second-round 79. Lawrie, the 1999 British Open champion, birdied the last hole to finish alone in fourth place after a 71, with Branden Grace (70) a shot further back in fifth.

Donald not only earned $950,000 with the victory but got a big boost leading to next month's U.S. Open in San Francisco, where he will go for his first major title.

``I feel I am getting closer. Every time I get a success like this, it adds to my confidence. These victories are key to bringing that confidence to the majors,'' the 34-year-old Englishman said.

Rose drew even for the lead after a birdie on No. 4 while Donald made his only bogey of the round on the same hole. At that time, Ireland's Peter Lawrie and Paul Lawrie were within two shots after strong starts in sunny conditions, but Donald found another gear.

He picked up shots at Nos. 6 and 7 and a 30-foot birdie at No. 10 drew cries of ``Luuuuke'' from the gallery to give him a three-stroke cushion.

Rose - looking for a victory that could have lifted him into the world's top five for the first time - couldn't respond. Further birdied by Donald at Nos. 12 and 16 allowed him to stroll down the par-5 18th. He is the third player, after Nick Faldo and Colin Montgomerie, to win successive titles in this event.

Donald finished with four rounds under 70, a significant achievement given a tough course, especially on Saturday when winds reached 30 mph.

``I got the job done,'' he said.

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