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Donald claims No.1 spot

Luke Donald regained his world number one spot when he successfully retained his title at the BMW PGA Championships last week.

Even if you are looking at politcal betting, you should note that the Englishman won by four shots in the tournament and finished ahead of Justin Rose and Paul Lawrie. He now moves ahead of Rory Mcllroy in the world rankings.

The 34-year-old joins the small list of players to retain this title, being only the third person to do so after Sir Nick Faldo in 1980-81 and Colin Montgomerie in 1998-99-00.

"To defend and get back to number one is very sweet indeed" said Donald who only needed a top eight finish after Mcllroy failed to make the cut at Wentworth.

The world number one did state that he feels a Major win is the next thing he needs to achieve to really announce himself as one of the worlds best.

He beat Lee Westwood in a play-off last year to become the world’s best, however since them Donald and Northern Irishman McIlroy have traded the spot six times. 

"This is a big week and I felt some of the pressure," added Donald. "I got the job done and I take a great amount of satisfaction.

"These victories are key to bringing that confidence into the majors."

Elsewhere, Darren Clarke has been ruled out of US Open next month after being advised to rest a groin problem.

The Open champion has also withdrawn from the Nordea Masters in Stockholm and will now not play until the Irish Open.

Clarke said: "I am extremely disappointed as Open champion that I am unable to play the US Open. I have to make sure I am 100% ready for the Open and to do that I have been advised not to play for a month."

The Irishman has been struggling with this injury for a couple of months now and it really started to cause him pain in the BMW PGA Championships last week.

He has taken medical advice and will stay of the course for around four weeks to avoid the injury getting any worse.

"I haven't been able to get through the ball properly because of it and I don't want to take any chances" Clarke said.

It has not been a great season so far for the 43-year-old, he has failed to find form since winning the open at Sandwich and has not made the half way cut since that famous victory.

2012 Open Championship - Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy to lead the way?

It isn't too long until the next golf major of the year, with the 2012 British Open taking place from the 19th to the 22nd July.

Golf betting pundits are already excited about the prospect of the tournament of course, with this being one of the most famous tournaments across the whole sport.

There was a shock winner last year too with Darren Clarke securing his first major after many years of trying. It was a sign that when it comes to betting on golf tournaments, anything can happen.

There is no doubt about the leading contenders though. Tiger Woods is the betting favourite at this stage, with many expecting him to win a major tournament before 2012 is out.

The American is 7/1 with Skybet for the win and will no doubt get plenty of backing. The key for him could be a good start. If he is in the top three after the first round, it is difficult to look beyond him.

Next in line is the man many expect to be as good as Woods these days - Rory McIlroy. The Northern Irishman is 8/1 with Paddy Power to secure his first Open Championship.

As ever with golf though, it is going to be extremely competitive. Lee Westwood is 12/1 for example, while Luke Donald - who has returned to the top of the world rankings - can be backed at 14/1. Both with Boylesports.

There will be many golf bets spread out across the field though with the likes of Martin Kaymer, Phil Mickelson and Masters Champion Bubba Watson more than capable of leading the way in July. The latter is available at 50/1 with Stan James.

Overall, it is set to be quite the tournament. Fans across the world will be watching and the best players in the world will be in action. In may ways, it doesn't get better than this. 

Bring on the 19th July 2012!

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