Rory McIlroy’s decision to not play until the Masters gives Luke Donald, who is in the field for this week's Transitions Championship, a golden opportunity to reclaim the world No 1 ranking he lost a fortnight ago.
It is by no means a forgone conclusion, and Donald will need nothing less than a win to stand any chance of returning to the top of the ranking.
What Donald needs to overtake McIlroy
By the end of the Transitions Championship, McIlroy’s average points on the Official World Golf Ranking will be 9.85, and for Donald to make that score he will need to win at least 49 points this week.
Gary Woodland got 52 points for winning the Transitions Championship last year, so it will be pretty close.
But it seems Donald isn’t overly concerned with recapturing the world No 1 spot.
“I don't know if getting to No 1 was that hugely important to me,” Donald said.
“I've always focused on putting myself into contention to try and win tournaments and hopefully Majors, and obviously did that a lot last year; and as a consequence, I went to No 1.”
“But you know, it's nice being No 1. I think there's a few bragging rights. The prestige is great. But it's not what I'm really focused on,” he added.
South Africans in the Transitions Championship field
South African legends Ernie Els and Retief Goosen will be joined in the Transitions Championship field by fellow Major winners Charl Schwartzel, Louis Oosthuizen and Trevor Immelman, as well as former Players Championship winner Tim Clark and Rory Sabbatini.
Both Els and Goosen will be hoping for a strong performances as they look to get back into the top 50 in the World Ranking in time to qualify for the Masters. Currently, Els is ranked 68th while Goosen is 52nd.
Brendon de Jonge will be representing Zimbabwe to round out the participants from Southern Africa.
Innisbrook Resort – Copperhead
Course Superintendent: Ryan Stewart
Original architect: Larry Packard (1971)
Par value: 71
Number of PGA Tour events hosted: 13
Course ranking: 27 (out of 51) in difficulty on the PGA Tour in 2011
Yardage: 6711 metres
Grass Bermudagrass: (Tees, fairways, greens, rough); Perennial ryegrass (Tees, fairways, rough); Poa annua (Fairways); Poa trivialis (Greens)
Water hazards: 9
Course stats courtesy of PGATour.com