WENTWORTH, May 29, 2011 (AFP) - England's Luke Donald claimed the PGA Championship and the world number one ranking after a dramatic play-off against Lee Westwood at Wentworth on Sunday.
Tied at six-under par, the pair re-played the 18th - a par-5 - where Westwood put his approach shot into the water surrendering the title and his top spot in the rankings.
Donald was safely on the green in three and when Westwood failed to hole his chip from dropping zone he handed his rival the title.
This is the first time Donald has headed the rankings. He is the third Englishman to do so after Nick Faldo and Westwood and this was his fifth win on the European Tour.
It also made up for the disappointment of finishing runner-up to Simon Khan in this - the Tour's flagship event - last year.
But it was a bitter pill for Westwood to swallow after his last round 68 - his best score of the week and at one point he was two clear of the field.
Donald was ecstatic at reaching the top spot in the world.
"It is something that you dream about but you never know if you are going to get there - but I got there," he said.
"It took a lot of hard work, a lot of sweat and tears, a lot of belief and a lot of failure. But I am sure Lee will be battling hard to get it back.
"But winning is always top of the list. It is a great honour and a great achievement to get to number one but it is the wins that get you there.
"This is the flagship event and with the four major champions here and everybody from the Ryder Cup it is very special."
Westwood felt that he had blown a chance to win the title without going in to a play-off.
"It shouldn't have gone to a play-off," said Westwood.
"I had a good chance at 17. The finish was a bit iffy with a three putt on the 16th and I had chances to birdie the last two but I didn't take them.I finished second not because of the play-off but because I didn't take my chances on 17 and 18."
Donald shot a 64 in the first round which he described as the best golf he could play but relied on his short game to keep him contention in rounds two and three when he was in trouble several times.
Both players had chances to win the championship in regulation play.
Donald had a putt that shaved the hole on the 17th and Westwood was one over par for the last three holes, which include two par-5s.
The world's top two-ranked players were locked in battle all afternoon and when Westwood missed and eight foot putt on the 18th for a birdie he left Donald needing a birdie to take the title.
Donald put his drive on the last in a fairway bunker, laid up short of the water on the par-5 and left himself a 40-foot putt for the title.
But it was asking too much and he and Westwood, who formed such a successful partnership in last autumn's Ryder Cup, were back to the 18th tee for the play-off which was effectively a shoot-out for the world number one spot.
Both were in the perfect spot about 100 metres from the green, but whereas Donald put his pitch to around eight feet, Westwood watched his land on the putting surface and spin into the water.
The 18th has attracted plenty of criticism since it was re-modelled by Ernie Els for last year's event, but it served up a finish full of drama this year.
England's Simon Dyson, who had a final round 69, finished third but Matteo Manassero, who shared the lead overnight, never got going and faded out of contention with a 75.
Earlier Australia's Marcus Fraser shot a 67, five-under par, which included a run of four birdies from the fourth, to shoot up the leaderboard and Ireland's Shane Lowry equalled that score helped by an eagle on the par-5 18th.
Final scores from the PGA Championship here at Wentworth on Sunday (GBR and IRL unless stated/par 71):
278 - Lee Westwood 72-69-69-68, Luke Donald 64-72-72-70 (Donald won play-off at the first extra hole)
280 - Simon Dyson 71-68-72-69
282 - Marcus Fraser (AUS) 70-72-73-67, Shane Lowry 74-72-69-67, Raphael Jacquelin (FRA) 72-70-69-71
283 - Colin Montgomerie 69-75-71-68, Jamie Donaldson 71-71-72-69, Peter Whiteford 71-69-73-70, Johan Edfors (SWE) 66-75-71-71, David Horsey 70-68-74-71, Matteo Manassero (ITA) 66-70-72-75
284 - Tano Goya (ARG) 77-69-72-66, Ricardo Gonzalez (ARG) 74-70-73-67, Felipe Aguilar (CHI) 70-70-73-71
285 - Ernie Els (RSA) 75-68-72-70, Thomas Levet (FRA) 69-71-74-71
286 - Ian Poulter 68-74-73-71, Rhys Davies 74-70-71-71, Retief Goosen (RSA) 74-71-70-71, Anders Hansen (DEN) 69-72-72-7, Alvaro Quiros (ESP) 69-67-76-74, Peter Hanson (SWE) 70-73-69-74
287 - Thongchai Jaidee (THA) 74-69-75-69, I Garrido (ESP) 75-71-70-71, Paul Casey 72-71-72-72, Rory McIlroy 76-70-68-73, YE Yang (KOR) 71-70-72-74, Fabrizio Zanotti (PAR) 71-70-69-77
288 - Michael Hoey 71-74-74-69, Kenneth Ferrie 69-75-74-70, SSP Chowrasia (IND) 71-71-75-71, Martin Kaymer (GER) 74-71-72-71, Oscar Floren (SWE) 67-77-72-72, Matt Morris 75-71-70-72, Shiv Kapur (IND) 74-71-70-73, Martin Wiegele (AUT) 77-65-72-74, Jose Manuel Lara 68-70-74-76
289 - Jaco Van Zyl (RSA) 76-68-75-70, Thomas Aiken (RSA) 71-67-77-74, Eduardo Molinari (ITA) 74-72-69-74, David Howell 71-71-72-75, Ross Fisher 75-68-70-76, Bradley Dredge 68-74-69-78
290 - Robert Rock 73-71-72-74, Darren Clarke 69-72-74-75
291 - Mark Foster 71-75-75-70, Hennie Otto (RSA) 70-71-78-72, Carlos Del Moral (ESP) 75-71-72-73
292 - Jason Levermore 74-72-76-70, Graeme Storm 74-71-75-72, Francesco Molinari (ITA) 75-71-73-73
293 - Andrew Dodt (AUS) 71-73-75-74, Ross McGowan 68-74-75-76, Martin Siem (GER) 77-69-71-76
294 - Seve Benson 74-72-75-73, John Parry 71-71-77-75, Jamie Elson 72-71-73-78, Steven O'Hara 74-71-71-78
295 - Alvaro Velasco (ESP) 71-70-77-77
298 - Fredrik Andersson Hed (SWE) 73-73-74-78
300 - Gareth Maybin 74-70-83-73, Greig Hutcheon 74-71-79-76, Paul Broadhurst 76-69-74-81
304 - Scott Jamieson 71-69-85-79
305 - Scott Strange (AUS) 72-71-84-78