The one place rises of Tommy Fleetwood and Sergio Garcia have knocked four-time major champion Rory McIlroy down to his lowest world ranking in almost nine years.
Fleetwood could not match the success of his 2017 WGC-Mexico Championship outing but a tied 14th has brought a career first entry to the world’s top 10, from 11th. After finishing tied seventh, Garcia is also up one place to 11th.
Fleetwood and Garcia’s gain is to the loss of McIlroy, who sat the WGC out this week, who is down two more places to 12th. He has not been in a lower ranking since late 2009.Embed from Getty Images
It was a prosperous week for some of the biggest US names in golf as number one and two in Mexico, Phil Mickelson and Justin Thomas, both make significant ranking strides.
Lefty saw off Thomas in a play-off at Club de Golf Chapultepec and has seen his ranking near cut in half from 34th to 18th, whilst Thomas is up to world-number-two for the first time in his career.Embed from Getty Images
It was last May that Mickelson fell out of the top 20 and he flirted with the possibility of leaving the top 50 early this year before a run of tied fifth, tied second, tied sixth and a win has dragged him back to the top.
Thomas has sat inside the top five for over six months and now his runner-up finish in Mexico has seen him leapfrog Jon Rahm into his highest career ranking.
Only a bogey on the 72nd hole of the tournament kept Tyrrell Hatton out of the play-off as he fell to tied third with Rafa Cabrera Bello. Hatton takes a three-place hop to 13th but Cabrera Bello is down one to 21st.
The only other positive movement inside the top 20 is Brooks Koepka – who is yet to play since the opening week of the year – up a single place to eighth.
Elsewhere, Kiradech Aphibarnrat (40th to 36th) is on the up after finishing tied fifth. As are Bubba Watson (41st to 38th) and Adam Hadwin (49th to 44th) from tied ninth.
Shubhankar Sharma’s meteoric rise has only continued after he also finished tied ninth – despite being 54-hole leader – with a move from 75th to 66th. In less than four months the Indian-star has broke through from outside the top 500 to his current position.
Perhaps it’s no wonder Mickelson mistook him for media earlier in the week:
“He probably thought we were media and said, ‘Not right now. After the round.”
Shubhankar Sharma will NEVER forget the first time he met Phil Mickelson. pic.twitter.com/K1U4ARlmrv
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 4, 2018
The European Tour, co-sanctioned with the Sunshine Tour, held its own event at the Tshwane Open this week and George Coetzee ran out winner for his first title in over two years that has propelled him 41 places back into the top century at 99th.
There are rises for Daniel Berger (33rd to 31st), Jhonattan Vegas (50th to 48th), FedExCup-number-two Patton Kizzire (59th to 51st), Chris Paisley (83rd to 78th) and Paul Dunne (86th to 81st) after their WGC-Mexico showings. Billy Horschel (87th to 82nd) and Lucas Glover (99th to 95th) are also up despite sitting out this week.
The full, updated rankings can be found here.
McIlroy will not have much chance to lament his perhaps lowest retrospective ranking to date as he takes to the Valspar Championship for the first time this week.