Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tiger Woods Down to Number 7 in New Golf World Rankings

Tiger Woods drops slightly further down the golf World Rankings as Lee Westwood's victory in South Korea keeps him at No.1

Europe’s grip on golf’s World Rankings appears to be as high as ever in the new list which was produced on 1st May 2011. Tiger Wood’s continued absence from tournaments means he is failing to keep hold of many of the points he has picked up in previous years.

The New Order at the Top of the Rankings

Lee Westwood has been the golfer to capitalise on the fall of Tiger Woods the most over the past few months. He has backed up his number one sport with two victories in the past few weeks, the first at the Indonesian Masters and more recently at the Ballantine’s Championship in South Korea. After losing the position to German Martin Kaymer earlier in the year, he has reclaimed the spot with some excellent performances in Asia.

Westwood and Kaymer aren’t the only Europeans vying for a place at the head of the rankings though. Luke Donald won the WGC Accenture Match Play in February and is on the heels of Westwood. He was runner up on the PGA Tour in America only last week, losing in a playoff to Brandt Snedeker at the Heritage Championship. A victory there would have seen him usurp Westwood at the top.

21-year-old Rory McIlroy is another European who has overtaken Tiger Woods. He has jumped up to a career high of sixth on the rankings, level with Woods on points average score but ahead of him on total points. The system as in most sports seems rather complicated. Best left to those in charge to work it all out. His good showing in the first three rounds at Augusta may have helped him in this. His fellow Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell is his next target in the list.

We have been very used to seeing the rankings list full to the brim with Americans at the top, with Woods, Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk all in contention for World No.1. However, Mickelson is taking some well-earned time off from the game, only participating in bigger tournaments. When he and Tiger Woods come back properly to the Tour there may once again be a changing of the guard.

Three Americans to watch out for are Matt Kuchar, Bubba Watson and Nick Watney. They are 10, 11 and 15 in the list respectively and all have a promising year ahead of them. Bubba Watson claimed the Zurich Classic in New Orleans and is at his career high in the top 10. Kuchar has been very consistent over the last year and he may be working his way slowly be surely into striking distance of the Europeans. As for Watney, his ability to shoot extremely low scores when others are struggling puts him into contention anywhere he plays.

Tiger Woods showed us big glimpses of what he was still capable of at The Masters at Augusta and so we should continue to look out for his presence in the rankings. He is the star attraction wherever he plays and it may not be long before his is challenging the Europeans at the top of the game once again.

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