Luke eyes Masters after Transitions win

Englishman back to World No.1 following birdie at first extra hole

Golfmagic Tour
Mon, 19 Mar 2012

Luke eyes Masters after Transitions win

Luke Donald regained his World No.1 crown at the Transitions Championship last night before setting his sights on maiden major glory at the Masters next month.

The Englishman needed a win in Florida to reclaim the top spot from Rory McIlroy and did just that after holding his nerve to win a four-man playoff with birdie at the first extra hole.

But rather than getting carried away with the accolade, which marks his 41st week as a World No.1, Donald admitted a fifth PGA Tour career victory was a morale booster ahead of Augusta.

“I feel like I've achieved a lot in my career but this is perfect preparation,” said the 34-year-old, who edged out Jim Furyk, Bae Sang-Moon and Robert Garrigus when rolling home a five-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole.

“I've got two weeks off now and can look forward to Augusta.

“I was certainly a lot more nervous about getting to No.1 the first time. This time it wasn't my focus. I was focused on winning the tournament and it all worked out.”

Donald, who has now strung together 16 top-10 finishes in his last 22 events, carded a final-round 66 to reach the magic 13-under total, highlighted with a run of five birdies on the opening 11 holes and seven consecutive pars.

Back up the 18th, Donald hit the worst drive of the quartet into the right-hand rough but quickly made amends with a delightful 7-iron approach under the hole and dispatched it home to seal a 12th career professional victory.

South African Ernie Els looked to have secured his place in the Masters when holding a one-shot lead with two to play but bogeyed both holes coming in and fell out of the playoff by a shot.

Donald’s playoff triumph makes it three European victories in a row on the PGA Tour following McIlroy at the Honda Classic and Justin Rose at the WGC-Cadillac Championship.

Transitions Championship Final Leaderboard

-13 Jim Furyk, Robert Garrigus (US), Bae Sang-Moon (Kor), Luke Donald (Eng)*
-12 Ernie Els (RSA), Jeff Overton, Scott Piercy, Ken Duke (US)

*Donald wins at first extra hole

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