Rory McIlroy world number two after fourth in WGC event

Rory McIlroy's last-hole birdie in Shanghai has taken him to a career-high second in the world.

Now only England's Luke Donald is ahead of the 22-year-old US Open champion thanks to his fourth-place finish at the WGC-HSBC Champions event.

If he had parred the 18th, McIlroy would have been in a four-way tie for sixth and would have stayed behind Lee Westwood in the rankings.

But he birdied - watched by Westwood, who came 13th after a closing 74.

WORLD GOLF RANKINGS

  • 1. Luke Donald (Eng)
  • 2. Rory McIlroy (NI)
  • 3. Lee Westwood (Eng)
  • 4. Martin Kaymer (Ger)
  • 5. Dustin Johnson (USA)
  • 6. Steve Stricker (USA)

McIlroy is now third in the European Tour's Race to Dubai money list.

Martin Kaymer's victory after a magnificent 63, containing nine birdies in the last 12 holes, has lifted him back to fourth and given Europe the top four places again.

Donald missed the tournament while awaiting the birth of his second daughter but was too far ahead to be caught even if Westwood or McIlroy had won.

McIlroy, winner of the lucrative Shanghai Masters a week earler, said: "It was not really what I was looking for today, but I finished off quite well.

"I would have had to do something special to keep up with Martin today. I am a little disappointed but looking forward to my two weeks off."

He later posted on Twitter: "Fourth wasn't what I was looking for but still a solid week overall. On the upside I will move to number two in the world rankings."