Following the second World Golf Championship title of his career at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, Bubba Watson has moved back towards the world’s top 20 from 39th to 21st.
The last time Watson sat that high was just after last year’s Dell Match Play. Since then there had been six missed cuts and only two top 10s, as he fell outside the top 100 before his Genesis Open victory last month. Two wins later and he’s up almost 100 places again.Embed from Getty Images
The 39-year-old’s win in the final was an emphatic 7&6 one over Kevin Kisner, who can be consoled by an 11-place rise to 25th in the rankings himself.
A place in the final for Justin Thomas would have handed him the world-number-one spot for the first time in his career but, with that at the fore of his mind, he could not get past Watson and had to settle for the third-place play-off and world-number-two position.
“I couldn’t stop thinking about it, to be perfectly honest, but I need to be mentally stronger than that,” he confessed.
Alex Noren was then to deny Thomas third-place with a 5&3 win that now moves him from 17th to 14th in the rankings.
As Sergio Garcia made it to the round-of-16 he consolidates his position in the world’s top 10 hopping up to ninth, whilst despite failing to make it out of his challenging group Tommy Fleetwood is up a place of his own to 11th.
There’s no further positive movement in the top 20 but quarter-finalists Kiradech Aphibarnrat (32nd to 29th), Kyle Stanley (49th to 43rd), Cameron Smith (50th to 44th) and Ian Poulter (64th to 51st) all make modest rises.
Siwoo Kim fell out of the top 50 last month; it hasn’t taken him long to get back amongst it, though. His tied ninth finish at Austin Country Club sees him up to 50th from 54th. Also on the move from tied ninth is Charles Howell III (65th to 60th).
Believe it or not, there was a regular PGA Tour event this week alongside the WGC, at the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship from the Dominican Republic. It offered the chance for Brice Garnett to claim his first Tour title and move from 214th to 125th in the rankings.
He saw off Keith Mitchell by four shots and Kelly Kraft by five; they take rises from 361st to 228th and 190th to 157th respectively. Further down the leaderboard Paul Dunne finished tied fifth and climbs six places to 78th.
The full, updated rankings can be found here.
There is a PGA Tour event at the Houston Open this week but, let’s be honest, everyone has already got their eye on the Masters.