Luke Donald stumbled at the last hurdle in his quest to become the new world number-one, losing out in a play-off to Brandt Snedeker at The Heritage in South Carolina. A victory would have elevated Donald from third up to first in the rankings, but the plan failed to work out as the Englishman and Lee Westwood’s title in Indonesia will be enough for him to return to the number one spot. However, anyone looking at the open betting should still expect Donald to make a challenge later in the year.
Donald had dominated the tournament from the early stages but only went in to the final round with a fragile one-shot lead ahead of Jim Furyk. That lead was easily eaten up by the chasing pack with Snedeker racing up the front nine in just 30. The American continued to impress down the back straight to finish with a stunning 64 12-under.
Donald had a chance to put some distance between himself and the American when he hit an excellent approach on the 16th, only to miss a relatively easy seven-footer. Pars on 17 and 18 from Donald ensured Snedeker would still have to come back out for the play-off. The Englishman took control of the play-off by sinking a 12-foot putt at the 18th before trading pars with Snedeker on the 17th.
It was all over on their second 18th of the play-off after Donald ended up in the sand, allowing the American to two putt and take only his second title on the PGA Tour. The result means that Donald now hasn’t won a stroke-play event in American since 2006, something he’ll need to do if he is going to be number one in the world.