Westwood cements No. 1 ranking

World number one Lee Westwood of England kisses his trophy after winning the Nedbank Golf Challenge...

World number one Lee Westwood of England kisses his trophy after winning the Nedbank Golf Challenge in Sun City, December 5, 2010. (REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko)

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, Last Updated: 11:16 AM ET

SUN CITY, South Africa -- World No. 1 Lee Westwood cemented his status as the game's best player on Sunday with an easy victory at the Nedbank Golf Challenge.

Westwood posted a four-under 68 on Sunday, which included a chip-in birdie at the last, to capture this elite-field event by an eye-opening eight shots at 17-under 271.

"I've been coming here for several years and it's a title I've always wanted to win," said Westwood. "I've come close a few times, lost in the play-offs, but it's always very special."

Tim Clark shot a one-under 71 and took second at minus-nine.

Retief Goosen (68) and Miguel Angel Jimenez (71) shared third at eight-under 280.

Westwood began the final round with a five-shot cushion and put to rest any chance of miracle comebacks with a six-foot birdie putt at the par-five second.

After six consecutive pars, Westwood two-putted for birdie at the par-five ninth. He made the turn at 15-under par and led the field by an almost insurmountable seven shots.

Westwood birdied the 10th and 13th holes and cruised into the clubhouse. He had a small hiccup at the 17th with a bogey, but he chipped in from the fringe at the last for the nine-stroke victory.

"I think that's the first time I chipped in all year," joked Westwood. "That's what you call a grand stand finish. It was a good time to do it. It's never over. It's sometimes even more pressure having a big lead because it's yours to blow."

This win capped off an amazing year for Westwood, who overtook Tiger Woods for the No. 1 ranking in the world. With the victory, no matter if Woods hangs on at the Chevron World Challenge, Westwood will finish the year as No. 1.

Ernie Els (73) and Ross Fisher (75) tied for fifth at five-under 283.

Last year's winner, Robert Allenby, managed an even-par 72 and shared seventh place with three-time major winner Padraig Harrington, who carded a three-over 75 on Sunday. The pair came in at minus-three.

Anders Hansen (76) and Justin Rose (72) shared ninth at minus-two.

NOTES: Edoardo Molinari shot a 76 and came in 11th at minus-one...British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen completed the field with a 74 on Sunday, which allowed for him to finish at plus-two...Next week the European Tour actually begins its 2011 season with the Alfred Dunhill Championship, which was won in 2010 by Pablo Martin.


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