British Open: Donald Starts off at No. 1

Jul 13, 2011, 07:38 by R.E. Christian

Luke Donald solidified his hold on the No. 1 spot in the world men's golf rankings with a win at the Scottish Open.

Donald picked up his third title of the year Sunday with a four-shot victory at Inverness, Scotland. The only way he can lose the top spot in the rankings next week is if Lee Westwood finishes first or alone in second at the British Open.

The year's third major golf tournament begins Thursday at the Royal St. George's Golf Club in Sandwich, England. Donald plays his first two rounds with Ryo Ishikawa and Sergio Garcia. Westwood is in a group with Steve Stricker and Masters champion Charl Schwartzel.

U.S. Open winner Rory McIlroy plays with Ernie Els and Rickie Fowler in a group just before Donald's.

Donald has a rankings points average of 9.744 and Westwood, ranked No. 2, is at 8.623. Martin Kaymer (7.270) is third ahead of McIlroy (7.166) in fourth and Stricker, who is fifth with an average of 6.888 after winning the John Deere Classic Sunday.

Phil Mickelson is sixth at 5.548. Matt Kuchar (5.547) moved up one place to seventh, knocking Jason Day (5.457) down one. Graeme McDowell (5.382) is ninth and Nick Watney (5.374) is 10th.

Source: UPI