Planet Golf — 15 April 2012 by Jim Street
Rory takes week off — moves to No. 1

The wacky world rankings in golf are so out-of-this-world that a player can climb to No. 1 in a week without swinging a club.

Go figure, but’s what happened to Rory McIlroy this week.

While he was spending part of the week in Copenhagen, Luke Donald was playing just bad enough in Hilton Head, S.C. to fall out of the top spot in the rankings.

Donald finished off a disappointing week at the RBC Heritage with an even-par 71 on Sunday and finished in a tie for 37th place. He needed to finish among the top eight at Harbour Town Golf Links to stay on top.

Instead, will surrender No. 1 to McIlroy when the new world rankings are released on Monday.

“Is it a concern? No,” Donald said. “Obviously, I’d have liked to have played a bit more consistently this year. I built it up nicely last year through tournaments and winning a bunch. As a result, there’s a little bit    of fluctuation in the world rankings now.”

Donald was ranked No. 1 for 40 weeks, a run that ended following McIlroy’s win at the Honda Classic last month. Donald needed just two weeks to reclaim the spot with his victory at the Transitions Championship.

The 22-year-old McIlroy, like most of golf’s best, took the week off after the Masters. McIlroy spent part of the week in Copenhagen visiting girlfriend Caroline Wozniaki, according to the tennis star’s tweets.

McIlroy tweeted this on Sunday: “#1 again without touching a golf club this week…. I wish it was that easy!”

McIlroy is not expected to play again until the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, N.C., in three weeks.

Donald will take next week off and then return to action in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans starting April 26.


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Jim Street

Jim’s 40-year sportswriting career started with the San Jose Mercury-News in 1970 and ended on a full-time basis on October 31, 2010 following a 10-year stint with He grew up in Dorris, Calif., several long drives from the nearest golf course. His first tee shot was a week before being inducted into the Army in 1968. Upon his return from Vietnam, where he was a war correspondent for the 9th Infantry Division, Jim took up golf semi-seriously while working for the Mercury-News and covered numerous tournaments, including the U.S. Open in 1982, when Tom Watson made the shot of his life on the 17th hole at Pebble Beach. Jim also covered several Bing Crosby Pro-Am tournaments, the women’s U.S. Open, and other golfing events in the San Francisco area. He has a 17-handicap, made his first and only hole-in-one on March 12, 2018 at Sand Point Country Club in Seattle and witnessed the first round Ken Griffey Jr. ever played – at Arizona State during Spring Training in 1990. Pebble Beach Golf Links, the Kapalua Plantation Course, Pinehurst No. 2, Spyglass Hill, Winged Foot, Torrey Pines, Medinah, Chambers Bay, North Berwick, Gleneagles and Castle Stuart in Scotland, and numerous gems in Hawaii are among the courses he has had the pleasure of playing. Hitting the ball down the middle of the fairway is not a strong part of Jim’s game, but he is known (in his own mind) as the best putter not on tour. Most of Jim’s writing career was spent covering Major League Baseball, a tenure that started with the Oakland Athletics, who won 101 games in 1971, and ended with the Seattle Mariners, who lost 101 games in 2010. Symmetry is a wonderful thing. He currently lives in Seattle and has an 8-year-old grandson, Andrew, who is the club's current junior champion at his home course (Oakmont CC) in Glendale, Calif.

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