Stricker soars, G-Mac tumbles

Steve Stricker’s victory at the Memorial Tournament has hoisted him four places into the World No 4 spot

Steve Strickers victory at the prestigious Memorial Tournament on Sunday has hoisted him four places into the World No 4 spot previously occupied by Phil Mickelson.

And on his way up when the Rankings were updated on Sunday, he would have passed a sliding Graeme McDowell whose horrendous 81 in the third round of the SAAB Wales Open he won last year, saw Northern Ireland’s reigning US Open Champion tumble down to 30th place at Celtic Manor on Sunday and subsequent slip from No 5 to No 8 on the World Rankings last.

Others who have moved ahead of McDowell as he struggles to find consistency ahead of the this month’s US Open at the Congressional County Club are Matt Kuchar, the runner up to Stricker on Sunday, and Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy, who finished fifth at the course that Jack built at Muirfield Village on Sunday.

Kuchar is up to sixth behind fellow Americans Stricker (4) and Phil Mickelson (5) and one place in front of 22-year-old McIlroy (7),

Padraig Harrington, who will make his return to competitive golf in Memphis this week after being sidelined with a knee injury, has, in the meantime, dropped outside the top 50 for the first time since 1999 and will no longer be an automatic qualifier for all of the games most important events.

But while Harrington won’t be happy with his new situation and will almost certainly be going all out to turn things around in the next few months, Sweden’s Alex Norin would almost certainly have been celebrating at the weekend.

His victory at the Celtic Manor on Sunday has rocketed him from No 127 on the World Rankings list to 8th.

Latest leading positions in the world golf rankings: 1 Luke Donald 9.21pts
2 Lee Westwood 8.59
3 Martin Kaymer 7.42
4 Steve Stricker 6.54
5 Phil Mickelson 6.06
6 Matt Kuchar 5.67
7 Rory McIlroy 5.50
8 Graeme McDowell 5.45
9 Dustin Johnson 5.16
10 Paul Casey 5.16 11 Charl Schwartzel 5.10
12 Bubba Watson 4.96
13 Ian Poulter 4.89
14 Nick Watney 4.78
15 Tiger Woods 4.69
16 KJ Choi 4.47
17 Jim Furyk 4.29
18 Hunter Mahan 4.22
19 Jason Day 4.19
20 Francesco Molinari 4.10
Other leading Europeans: 23 Robert Karlsson
24 Alvaro Quiros
25 Martin Laird
26 Miguel Angel Jimenez
29 Justin Rose
30 Matteo Manassero
35 Edoardo Molinari
37 Anders Hansen
46 Peter Hanson
51 Padraig Harrington
54 Ross Fisher
70 Thomas Bjorn
71 Simon Dyson
75 Sergio Garcia
76 Gregory Bourdy
77 Raphael Jacquelin
79 David Horsey
80 Alexander Noren
81 Stephen Gallacher
82 Nicolas Colsaerts
90 Brian Davis
93 Johan Edfors
94 Darren Clarke
99 Rhys Davies
100 Jamie Donaldson