Donald surrenders world number one ranking to McIlroy at Heritage

RBC Heritage final leaderboard (US unless stated)

  • -14: C Pettersson (Swe)
  • -9: Z Johnson
  • -8: C Knost
  • -6: B Mayfair
  • Selected others: -3: B Davis (Eng)
  • +2: L Donald (Eng)
  • +3: G Christian (Eng)
  • +4: J Daly

Luke Donald surrendered his world number one ranking to Rory McIlroy after finishing the RBC Heritage in the United States in joint 37th.

Donald needed a top-eight placing in South Carolina to stay ahead of the Northern Irishman.

However, he could only finish with a second successive level-par round of 71 to end the week on two over.

Coming up for McIlroy

  • 3-6 May: Wells Fargo Championship, Quail Hollow, North Carolina
  • 10-13 May: The Players Championship, Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
  • 24-27 May: BMW PGA Championship, Wentworth, England

McIlroy wrote on Twitter:  "#1 again without touching a golf club this week.... I wish it was that easy!"

The tournament was won by Sweden's Carl Pettersson, with Donald never in contention after an opening-round 75.

"Is it a concern? No," said Donald, who finished 16 shots behind Pettersson.

"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."

Englishman Donald, who lost a play-off to Brandt Snedeker at the same venue last year, made a poor start to Sunday's final round with a double-bogey six on the first, before birdies on the fifth and sixth helped him salvage some respectability.

Pettersson shot a final round of 69 to finish a comfortable winner on 14 under, five shots ahead of American Zach Johnson.

Colt Knost was one shot further back in third after a disappointing 74.

US Open champion McIlroy briefly overtook Donald at the top of the rankings last month, and will now do so again despite sitting out this tournament.

The 22-year-old is not expected to play again until next month's Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, North Carolina.