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Donald surrenders top spot to McIlroy

Hilton Head Island - England's Luke Donald will surrender golf's World No. 1 ranking to Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy on Monday after a poor showing at the US PGA Heritage tournament.

Donald fired a level-par 71 on Sunday to finish on two-over par 286 for 72 holes. He needed to share eighth place or better this week to keep his razor-thin margin ahead of McIlroy in the rankings.

Luke Donald, of England, hits onto the ninth green from the bunker during the final round of the RBC Heritage golf tournament in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Credit: Associated Press

Once eight players reached the clubhouse ahead of him, Donald was ensured of giving the top spot back to McIlroy, whom he passed last month for the honour.

Donald, still seeking his first major title, first claimed the top ranking after winning last year's BMW PGA Championship on the European Tour.

Reigning US Open champion McIlroy, who turns 23 on May 4, claimed the top spot for the first time in his young career last month when he won the US PGA Honda Classic.

But Donald moved past McIlroy two weeks later, reclaiming the top spot by winning the US PGA Transitions Championship.

McIlroy, who was off this week, is not expected to play again until the US PGA Wells Fargo Championship later this month at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, North Carolina. - Sapa-AFP

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