Luke Donald could lose the No. 1 spot in the Official World Golf Ranking to either No. 2 Rory McIlroy or No. 3 Lee Westwood at this week's WGC-Accenture Match Play.
Based on an estimate of the winner earning 76 world ranking points - just as Donald did for defeating Martin Kaymer in the final match a year ago - McIlroy or Westwood could surpass Donald if either can win six matches and the championship.
If McIlroy were to win, Donald would have to lose in the first two rounds of the championship for the scenario to be possible. For Westwood, he would need a victory and for Donald not to advance past the round of 16.
The defending champion of the Match Play has not escaped the second round in each of the last three years, with three champions winning a combined two matches in the year after running the 64-player gauntlet. Westwood has seven wins in 11 appearances in the event. McIlroy has lost in the second round in each of the last two years, reaching the quarterfinals in 2009.
Kaymer became No. 1 in the ranking that week, taking over the top spot from Lee Westwood, who had been No. 1 since Halloween 2010.
Westwood regained the top spot in April by taking the Indonesian Masters, but lost it again to Luke Donald when he fell in a playoff at last May's BMW PGA Championship. Given their seeding this week, they could only meet in the final match, which would preserve the No. 1 ranking for Donald.