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April 14 2012

4:00 PM

Donald likely to lose No. 1 ranking

By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. -- A year ago, Luke Donald had a chance to move to No. 1 in the world with a victory at the RBC Heritage. He lost in a playoff to Brandt Snedeker instead.

This time, it looks like Donald will lose his spot atop the Official World Golf Ranking on Monday morning.

Donald, who entered the week less than a tenth-of-a-point ahead of Rory McIlroy, needed to finish no worse than a tie for eighth, is outside the top 50 at Harbour Town, where he has struggled with his putting most of the week. Donald is also projected to fall in the FedExCup standings, where he was 15th entering the RBC Heritage.

Not that Donald is too concerned about it.

“Now that I've been No. 1 for a number of weeks now, it's not something I think about too much,” he said earlier this week. “My focus this week is just trying to win the tournament.”

Right from the start Donald made that difficult on himself with an opening-round 75, taking 32 putts in the process. He got off to a good start Friday with three birdies in his first seven holes but struggled the rest of the way with one bogey and 10 pars.

This will also likely mark the first time in a while Donald hasn’t been a factor at Harbour Town, where he has finished in the top 3 each of the past three years.

McIlroy, meanwhile, has the week off. This will be the second time he has been No. 1. The first came after his victory at last month’s Honda Classic.

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