Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Trio battle it out for top spot

Rory McIlroy

Luke Donald, Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood fill the top three spots on the world rankings going into The Masters - and any one of them could be number one at the end of the week.

Winning his first major after so many near-misses is the main objective for Westwood, but it would have the additional bonus of taking him back to the top if Donald finishes outside the top 10 and McIlroy the top seven.

Things are much tighter between Donald and McIlroy, but if the Northern Irishman records a top-five finish then Donald would have to be alongside or above him to retain the number one spot.

Tiger Woods, meanwhile, could climb as high as third by capturing his 15th major.

He fell outside the top 50 last October, but ended more than two years without a victory at the limited-field Chevron World Challenge and then eight days ago had his first PGA Tour success for 30 months at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Florida.

Latest leading positions in the world golf rankings:

1 Luke Donald 9.70pts, 2 Rory McIlroy 9.59, 3 Lee Westwood 7.76, 4 Hunter Mahan 5.75, 5 Steve Stricker 5.67, 6 Martin Kaymer 5.64, 7 Tiger Woods 5.53, 8 Charl Schwartzel 5.09, 9 Justin Rose 5.06, 10 Webb Simpson 5.04

11 Jason Day 4.97, 12 Dustin Johnson 4.92, 13 Adam Scott 5.87, 14 Phil Mickelson 4.82, 15 Graeme McDowell 4.80, 16 Bubba Watson 4.56, 17 Bill Haas 4.51, 18 Matt Kuchar 4.46, 19 Keegan Bradley 4.29, 20 Nick Watney 4.18

Other leading Europeans:

21 Sergio Garcia, 24 Ian Poulter, 25 Peter Hanson, 32 Thomas Bjorn, 33 Alvaro Quiros, 35 Martin Laird, 36 Simon Dyson, 37 Robert Karlsson, 38 Paul Casey, 40 Anders Hansen, 43 Paul Lawrie, 45 Fredrik Jacobson, 46 Francesco Molinari, 51 Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, 52 Miguel Angel Jimenez, 57 Robert Rock, 59 Darren Clarke, 63 Matteo Manassero, 65 Nicolas Colsaerts, 66 Rafael Cabrera Bello, 68 Carl Pettersson, 76 Michael Hoey, 77 Joost Luiten, 81 Alexander Noren, 84 Pablo Larrazabal, 91 Edoardo Molinari, 93 David Lynn, 94 Jamie Donaldson, 96 Padraig Harrington, 97 Brian Davis, 100 Thorbjorn Olesen

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