Luke Donald Looks to Become World's Top Ranked Golfer
Luke Donald will have a lot on the line when he tees off at The Heritage on Sunday. An opportunity to earn his second PGA TOUR win of the season and take over the top spot in the Official World Golf Rankings.
Donald's quest to win The Heritage and become the world's #1 ranked golfer won't be easy. His playing partner on Sunday will be the reigning Heritage champion and 2010 PGA TOUR player of the year, Jim Furyk. Furyk has struggled in 2011 but knows how to win and a victory here could turn his season around. Heading into the final round Sunday, Furyk sits just one shot behind Donald at 10-under.
Including Furyk, there are five players within one stroke of Donald. Brendon de Jong shot a 5-under, 66, yesterday to put himself within striking distance at 9-under par. Just two strokes behind Donald, de Jong is looking for his first career PGA TOUR victory. Tied with de Jong at 9-under is veteran Scott Verplank. Verplank has been playing some of his best golf in recent years. He has made 4 of 5 cuts this season and recently earned a second place finish at the Shell Houston Open. The TOUR veteran will be looking for his first win since the 2007 EDS Byron Nelson Championship.
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While Verplank and de Jong sit just two strokes back, the biggest threat to Donald's quest for #1 may come from three strokes back. Jason Day, Ricky Barnes and Tommy "Two Gloves" Gainey are all tied at 8-under. Although Gainey has not won on the PGA TOUR, he's familiar with being near the top on Sunday. In 2007 he finished in second place at the Children's Miracle Network Classic and has two top 10's earlier this season at the Honda Classic (5th) and the Waste Management Phonix Open (8th).