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