Westwood climbs the rankings

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Lee Westwood has moved back into the World No 2 spot in the rankings, moving Rory McIlroy down to third.

Lee Westwood has moved back into the World No 2 spot in the rankings, moving Rory McIlroy down to third.

Victories at the Nedbank Golf Challenge and, most recently, the Thailand Golf Championship by all of seven shots has provided the Englishman with the perfect end to a long season, and ensured that he will end the year closest to World No 1 – and compatriot – Luke Donald.

Westwood has no shortage of confidence after his recent performances.

“I’m going to continue to work on my fitness and all aspects of my game,” he told Skysports.

“I’m going in the right direction, I can see a lot of improvement and I’m happy with the way I’ve finished the year, I’ve won two out of my last three events.

“I’ll go into the winter with a lot of confidence and I’ll try to come out next year playing the same kind of golf as I played this week, a little bit leaner and well rested.”

Ian Poulter also won in Australia over the weekend at the JBWere Masters, lifting him back into the top 20 in 16th place.

Spaniard Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano also has reason to celebrate – a strong finish to his season has seen him move back into the top 50 – just in time to ensure Masters qualification for 2012.

The biggest move of the year belongs to American webb Simpson, who started 2011 in 213th place and now finds himself in 10th spot.

The biggest moves in the wrong direction belong to Tiger Woods, who started the year in 2nd spot, fell as low as 51st, but then moved back up to 23rd after his recent victory at the Chevron World Challenge. Phil Mickelson started the year in 4th, but is now in 14th spot.

Jim Furyk also dropped from 5th to 50th, while the likes Of Paul Casey and Graeme McDowell also droppped out of the top 10 to lie 20th and 13th respectively.

Leading positions in the world golf rankings at the end of 2011 (final 2010 positions in brackets): 1 (9) Luke Donald 10.03pts, 2 (1) Lee Westwood 8.06, 3 (10) Rory McIlroy 7.77, 4 (3) Martin Kaymer 6.55, 5 (24) Adam Scott 5.50, 6 (7) Steve Stricker 5.33, 7 (14) Dustin Johnson 5.27, 8 (38) Jason Day 5.07, 9 (34) Charl Schwartzel 5.06, 10 (213) Webb Simpson 5.03
11 (13) Matt Kuchar 4.71, 12 (35) Nick Watney 4.70, 13 (6) Graeme McDowell 4.55, 14 (4) Phil Mickelson 4.48, 15 (47) KJ Choi 4.31, 16 (11) Ian Poulter 3.88, 17 (78) Sergio Garcia 3.87, 18 (30) Justin Rose 3.85, 19 (19) Hunter Mahan 3.76, 20 (8) Paul Casey 3.73
Other leading Europeans: 22 (49) Alvaro Quiros, 24 (17) Robert Karlsson, 28 (64) Simon Dyson, 34 (70) Anders Hansen, 35 (124) Thomas Bjorn, 39 (131) Fredrik Jacobson, 41 (15) Francesco Molinari, 42 (40) Peter Hanson, 44 (27) Miguel Angel Jimenez, 47 (50) Martin Laird, 48 (98) Darren Clarke, 49 (92) Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, 58 (62) Matteo Manassero, 64 (97) Joost Luiten, 65 (18) Edoardo Molinari, 66 (141) Alex Noren, 72 (152) Nicolas Colsaerts, 77 (364) Pablo Larrazabal, 83 (244) Paul Lawrie, 85 (23) Padraig Harrington, 86 (100) Jamie Donaldson, 90 (113) Gregory Havret, 91 (209) David Lynn, 100 (33) Ross Fisher.

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