With his 5-shot victory Sunday at the Dunlop Phoenix in Japan, Donald supplanted Woods at the No. 2 spot in the world ranking, trailing only No. 1 McIlroy.
McIlroy, who missed the cut Friday in a European Tour event in Hong Kong, will be No. 1 for the 15th consecutive week. With his significant edge in average world ranking points on Donald, McIlroy's grip on the top spot appears secure at least into 2013.
Both Donald and McIlroy will be playing in this week's DP World Tour Championship, the European Tour's season finale. After that event, neither is expected to play again until 2013.
During the course of their careers, McIlroy now has been No. 1 for 22 weeks, and Donald has owned the mantle as best in the world for a combined 55 weeks. Donald hasn't been No. 1 since Aug. 5, when McIlroy took over the top spot the following week with his 8-shot triumph at the PGA Championship.
Donald's last PGA Tour victory came in a March playoff at the Transitions Championship. His most recent European Tour win came in May at the BMW PGA Championship.