It’s hard to believe the fall and re-rise of Bubba Watson over the past 18 months.
Watson started 2017 inside the world’s top 10 but a run of nine missed cuts or withdrawals and just three tops 10s in 23 starts dropped him outside of the top 100. He fell as low as 117th in the world.
And just in the knick of time, the once-world-number-two got his first win in two years at the Genesis Open and was back up to world-number-40. A month later win number two followed at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play; Bubba was now on the cusp of the top 20.
Now with his third Travelers Championship title (his third win of the season) Watson has moved from 20th to 13th in the world; he’s not been that high since winter last year.
Watson’s glory meant heartache for Paul Casey, J.B. Holmes, Stewart Cink and Beau Hossler who tied for second. That won’t bother Cink too much though. His highest finish since 2009 (two thousand and nine!) has broke him back inside the top 100 – with a move from 149th to 95th – after a seven-year absence. Remarkable for a player of his calibre.
There’s consolation for the other three in tied second spot too. Casey has hopped a single place back up to 12th, a position he held for two months before the US Open, and Holmes and Hossler (93rd to 75th and 88th to 64th respectively) have solidified their places inside the top 100.
There’s more decent rises for high finishers at TPC River Highlands Brian Harman (26th to 28th), Patrick Cantlay (30th to 29th), Charley Hoffman (37th to 35th), Russell Henley (55th to 47th) and Zach Johnson (54th to 51st).
Matt Wallace became the 26th winner of the BMW International Open in Germany over on the European Tour and, less than two months after breaking through for the first time, has consolidated his position in the top 100 by jumping from 91st to a career-high 66th.
That leaves him one place behind Thorbjørn Olesen in 65th who fired a spectacular bogeyless, nine-birdie, one-eagle 61 on Sunday in Germany but fell one short of Wallace into tied second; his ranking is boosted 10 places from 75th.
Alongside Olesen in tied second was Mikko Korhonen and 2008 champion Martin Kaymer. There’s contrasting rewards for the two as Korhonen (111th to 96th) sneaks into the top 100 but Kaymer (127th to 103rd) remains just short. Both from tied fifth in Germany, Lucas Bjerregaard (117th to 107th) and Aaron Rai (217th to 193rd) are also on the move.
As with every week in the world of the OWGR, there are some notable unexplained ranking shifts for absentees last week. Jon Rahm hops back to fifth from sixth, dislodging Jordan Spieth in the process; Alex Noren is up from 17th to 16th; and Louis Oosthuizen is another up a single place to 32nd despite no appearance this week.
For those paying keen interest, Tiger Woods has slipped another three places to 82nd two weeks after his missed cut at the US Open.
The full, updated rankings can be found here.