G-Mac gunning for Mickelson's fourth spot after Hawaii rankings boost

After a breakthrough 2010, Graeme McDowell started the year as he means to go on in Hawaii.

Image: Eric Risberg/AP/Press Association Images

AFTER AN IMPRESSIVE PGA Tour debut, Graeme McDowell is closing in on the world number four spot.

The Portrush man narrowly missed out on a play-off place in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Hawaii this weekend and he is now gunning for Phil Mickelson’s spot.

McDowell hit a course record-equalling closing round of 62 in the final round, just missing out on a shoot-out by one shot.

Jonathan Byrd beat fellow American Robert Garrigus at the second extra hole in the first event of the 2011 PGA Tour season and leaps from 121st to 58th on the new rankings, while Ian Poulter’s sixth-place finish takes him back into the game’s top 10.

McDowell’s efforts means the gap between himself and Mickelson, fourth in the latest world rankings, is down to just 0.09 points.

Lee Westwood remains at the head of rankings, with Padraig Harrington in 26th place

It was just a fun day out there. This golf course is just ‘green light’ all day. You can see from the scoring, there’s a lot of birdies, and it’s a lot of fun.

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McDowell will take this week off and recharge the batteries instead of teeing it up in the Joburg Open in South Africa, according to the Irish Times.

Latest World Rankings: 1 Lee Westwood 8.97pts, 2 Tiger Woods 7.50, 3 Martin Kaymer 7.03, 4 Phil Mickelson 6.39, 5 Graeme McDowell 6.30 , 6 Steve Stricker 6.01, 7 Jim Furyk 6.00, 8 Paul Casey 5.65, 9 Luke Donald 5.48, 10 Ian Poulter 5.48 11 Ernie Els 5.46, 12 Rory McIlroy 5.40 , 13 Matt Kuchar 4.69, 14 Dustin Johnson 4.50, 15 Retief Goosen 4.38, 16 Francesco Molinari 4.30, 17 Robert Karlsson 4.26, 18 Edoardo Molinari 4.09, 19 Louis Oosthuizen 4.02, 20 Hunter Mahan 3.87

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