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McIlroy leads world rankings, Woods in second

The Holywood man is on a roll and he’s opened up a bit of a lead at the top of the world rankings.

The world's top two players shake hands at the weekend.
The world's top two players shake hands at the weekend.
Image: Charles Rex Arbogast/AP/Press Association Images

RORY MCILROY HAS consolidated his lead atop the world rankings with his second straight win on the USPGA Tour yesterday, while Tiger Woods has gone back to second as his main challenger.

The 23-year old Northern Irishman spent most of the first half of the year in a tit-for-tat battle with Englishman Luke Donald for the top spot, but all that has changed over the last few weeks.

First McIlroy won his second major title at the USPGA at Kiawah Island in August and then in the US Tour playoffs he has played more sublime golf to win at both the Deutsche Bank Championships last week and on Sunday at the BMW Championships.

In so doing he became the first player since Tiger Woods in 2009 to win in successive weeks on the US tour and he joined Woods and Jack Nicklaus as the only players to win at least six PGA Tour events before his 24th birthday.

He also stormed ahead in the world rankings with 12.80 points, with Woods overtaking Donald on 9.63 points. Donald drops to third with 9.17 points with another former No.1, Lee Westwood of England, in fourth on 7.57 points. Woods, third and fourth in the last fortnight, lost his world No.1 spot to Westwood in November 2010 and with injury dogging him last year, he subsequently slumped out of the top 50 before beginning his recovery in the summer.

World Top 20: 1. Rory McIlroy (NIR) 12.80pts; 2. Tiger Woods (USA) 9.63; 3. Luke Donald (ENG) 9.17; 4. Lee Westwood (ENG) 7.57; 5. Adam Scott (AUS) 6.37; 6. Webb Simpson (ENG) 6.11; 7. Jason Dufner (USA) 6.08; 8. Bubba Watson (USA) 6.07; 9. Justin Rose (ENG); 10. Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) 5.75; 11. Steve Stricker (USA) 5.72; 12. Dustin Johnson (USA) 5.48; 13. Keegan Bradley (USA) 5.48; 14. Matt Kuchar (USA) 5.41; 15. Phil Mickelson (USA) 5.16; 16. Zach Johnson (USA) 5.10; 17. Graeme McDowell (NIR) 5.03; 18. Sergio Garcia (ESP); 19. Brandt Snedeker (USA) 4.92; 20. Hunter Mahan (USA) 4.78.

- © AFP, 2012

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