There are very few golf enthusiasts who would deny that Rory McIlroy and Jason Day are definite world-top-10 players, world-top-three in the former’s case. So it should come as appeasing news to fans worldwide that the pair’s absence from the world’s top decad has ended.
In the last week of December McIlroy fell out of the world’s top 10 for the first time since 2010, whilst Day had been out since the end of October.
With a second place finish at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic and a win at the Farmers Insurance Open respectively the pair both climb back into the list of the world’s elite.
McIlroy’s runner-up place to Haotong Li in Dubai sees him back up to eighth from 11th; Day only just creeps back in, up four places from 14th to 10th, knocking Sergio Garcia down to 11th in the process.
Having made his first cut in a full-field event since 2015, Tiger Woods rallied to tied 23rd at Torrey Pines and is up 108 places as a result, from 647th to 539th.
There’s three places jumps apiece for European duo Tyrrell Hatton (18th to 15th) and Alex Noren (19th to 16th) after their performances. Hatton came within two shots of McIlroy and three shots of Li on the European Tour whilst Noren took Day to six-holes of a play-off, dragging through until Monday, on the PGA Tour.Embed from Getty Images
Ryan Palmer also partook in Noren and Day’s play-off but fell out of contention after the first hole. His efforts see him break the top 200 and top 100 in one week with a 113 place jump from 205th to 92nd. From fifth and sixth at the same event, J.B. Holmes (90th to 75th) and Keegan Bradley (73rd to 64th) both make positive moves.
Tony Finau raced to the 18-hole lead in San Diego but slipped away over the remainder of the week to finish tied sixth. He has secured his placed in the top 50 though, up another seven places from 44th to 37th. Charles Howell III joined Finau but his four place rise to 62nd is more modest.
It took four birdies on the last six holes to earn Li his second European Tour title and his world rankings cuts near in half as a result. The Chinese-star is inside the world’s top 50 for the first time and up to his highest career ranking, from 60th to 32nd.
Chris Paisley made it a second fifth-place finish in a row to back up his win at the BMW SA Open and climbs another 16 places to 80th. The Englishman sat 289th before his victory just over a fortnight ago. Alexander Levy pipped Paisley to fourth in Dubai and moves to 60th from 67th.
Another man to break the top 50 after their finish in Dubai is Dylan Frittelli, who takes a welcome stride of four places to 47th after placing tied sixth.
12 players finished alongside Frittelli in tied sixth and only Tommy Fleetwood, Henrik Stenson, Rafa Cabrera-Bello and Ian Poulter don’t make significant ranking moves; Byeong Hun An (100th to 91st), Alexander Björk (117th to 105th), Jeunghun Wang (114th to 103rd), David Lipsky (161st to 150th), Jason Scrivener (171st to 152nd), Richie Ramsay (136th to 120th) and Chris Hanson (334th to 288th) are all up by at least nine places.
Satoshi Kodaira’s Asian dominance continued as he landed a second consecutive tied second at the Japan Golf Tour and Asian Tour’s Leopalace21 Myanmar Open. From 42nd to 35th, Kodaira is becoming a very prominent figure in the world of golf.
The full, updated rankings can be found here.
World-number-one Dustin Johnson is the only player from the world’s top five not entering the Waste Management Phoenix Open this week, opening the door for the four remaining to try and close the gap on top spot.