Belfast Telegraph

Friday 11 July 2014

McIlroy ends year as number one

Rory McIlroy will end 2012 at the top of the world rankings

Charl Schwartzel and Sergio Garcia end the year 14th and 16th in the world respectively after their weekend wins in South Africa and Malaysia.

Schwartzel followed an 11-shot victory at the Thailand Championship with a 12-stroke triumph - the third biggest margin in European Tour history - at the Alfred Dunhill Championship, while Ryder Cup star Garcia shot a closing 61 to take the Johor Iskandar Open by three.

It means eight of Europe's successful side in Chicago have lifted trophies since that memorable week in September. Three of them - Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald and Justin Rose - finish 2012 in the world's top four and there are 19 Europeans in the leading 50.

Dane Thorbjorn Olesen held on to 50th spot by 0.01 ranking points from Australian Geoff Ogilvy and so earns himself a US Masters debut next April.

Paul Lawrie, Jamie Donaldson, Nicolas Colsaerts, Francesco Molinari, Matteo Manassero, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and Thomas Bjorn have also now qualified for Augusta through the top 50.

They are in addition to 18 other Europeans who had already booked their places in the first major of 2013.

Final 2012 positions in the world golf rankings (end of 2011 positions in brackets): 1 (3) Rory McIlroy 13.22pts, 2 (1) Luke Donald 8.62, 3 (23) Tiger Woods 8.53, 4 (18) Justin Rose 6.42, 5 (5) Adam Scott 6.21, 6 (40) Louis Oosthuizen 6.14, 7 (2) Lee Westwood 6.03, 8 (21) Bubba Watson 5.30, 9 (33) Jason Dufner 5.29, 10 (38) Brandt Snedeker 5.23.

11 (10) Webb Simpson 5.13, 12 (16) Ian Poulter 5.00, 13 (31) Keegan Bradley 5.00, 14 (9) Charl Schwartzel 4.90, 15 (13) Graeme McDowell 4.81, 16 (17) Sergio Garcia 4.74, 17 (14) Phil Mickelson 4.69, 18 (6) Steve Stricker 4.65, 19 (42) Peter Hanson 4.59, 20 (12) Nick Watney 4.54.

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