• European Tour

Donald gunning for McIlroy's No. 1 crown

ESPN staff
May 21, 2012
Luke Donald is fully focused ahead of the BMW PGA Championship © Getty Images

Luke Donald has warned Rory McIlroy he is ready to reclaim the world No. 1 spot by making a successful defence of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth this week.

Donald has fond memories of the tournament having risen to the top of the rankings for the first time by beating Lee Westwood in a play-off a year ago.

He managed to hold on to top spot until March, before Rory McIlroy usurped him when winning the Honda Classic in Florida. Since then the pair have switched places four times, with the Ulsterman currently at the summit.

However, Donald is desperate to displace his rival and will do so even if he finishes second, so long as McIlroy does not win. Should McIlroy miss the cut, Donald would need to finish eighth or better.

On his rivalry with McIlroy, Donald told Sky Sports News: "We are friends off the course. On the course we don't like to lose to each other.

"We haven't played in too many events due to our schedules this year so it will be nice to play an event with Rory and hopefully get to that situation where we're going down the stretch with a chance to win the tournament and the No. 1 ranking is on the line. I think it adds a bit more excitement to the event.

"You always want to play where the best players are playing. The BMW PGA Championship is our flagship event, it's the biggest event and it always garners a great field. I'm excited to be back and playing against the guys that have been playing well this year."

The second major of the year takes place at The Olympic Club in San Francisco next month, and Donald admits breaking his major duck at the US Open is his top priority.

"For my own confidence there's nothing like walking on the tee knowing your best is good enough to get to world No. 1," he addded. "Obviously every time you win and you produce a good result it makes you a more confident player and being the world No. 1 is the ultimate for your confidence.

"Winning a major is the most important thing to me right now. I've accomplished quite a lot in the game - I've got to No. 1 and won a bunch of tournaments but I'm still without a major and that's the focus. It always has been. In the last couple of years I've learnt how to win consistently and hopefully that confidence will turn into some major wins."

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