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Donald positioned to take No. 1 world ranking

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — Luke Donald is a round away from owning the No. 1 world ranking after 1-under 70 on Saturday left him one stroke in front of defending champion Jim Furyk through three rounds of the Heritage.

Donald overcame double bogey and bogey on the front nine to catch Furyk with birdie on the 16th hole. He finished at 11-under 202.

Furyk held the lead for much of his back nine but made bogey on the closing hole for 69 to drop back. Brendan de Jonge (66) and Scott Verplank (67) were two shots behind at 9 under. Masters runnerup Jason Day (71), Ricky Barnes (67) and Tommy Gainey (67) were a stroke further back in the PGA Tour event.

Donald is ranked third in the world, behind top-rated Martin Kaymer and Lee Westwood. Donald would claim the top spot with a victory no matter how Westwood fares at the Indonesian Masters, where he held a five-stroke lead. Kaymer is not playing this week.

Donald and Westwood, fellow Brits and Ryder Cup teammates last year, exchanged messages on Twitter about their play.

"He sent me a message (Friday) just saying, 'Good playing,' and I sent one back," Donald said. "We never wish bad on each other."

Donald and Furyk will be paired today. Last year, Furyk used a par save from the bunker on the 72nd hole to win the Tour Championship by a stroke over Donald and win the $10 million FedEx Cup bonus.

The next week, Donald beat Furyk 1-up in Ryder Cup singles in Europe's victory. "I got a little revenge," he said.

Champions: Wayne Levi and Keith Fergus shot 12-under 60 in better-ball play for a share of the second-round lead with Peter Senior and Sandy Lyle at the Legends of Golf in Savannah, Ga. Senior and Lyle combined for 61, which left them even with Levi and Fergus at 20-under 124. Kenny Perry and Scott Hoch shot 62 and were a stroke behind in a tie with first-round co-leaders Tom Kite and Gil Morgan (63).

Westwood keeps lead: Lee Westwood took a five-stroke lead after the third round of the Indonesian Masters in Jakarta, shooting a second straight 6-under 66 for 16-under 200 in the Asian Tour event. He can reclaim the No. 1 ranking from Martin Kaymer with a victory if Luke Donald fails to win the Heritage.

Donald positioned to take No. 1 world ranking 04/23/11 [Last modified: Saturday, April 23, 2011 10:10pm]
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