Rory McIlroy: ready to tee off in Abu Dhabi. Lynne Cameron/PA Wire/Press Association Images
Top of the World

On the brink of eye-watering Nike deal, Rory McIlroy starts the year top of world rankings

And Tiger’s back up to second behind Luke Donald for some strange reason.

MONDAYS AREN’T TOO bad if you’re Rory McIlroy.

The Holywood native’s proposed multi-million euro deal with Nike may be announced later today and this morning he’s been confirmed as the world No 1 again.

Tiger Woods is back at second place behind McIlroy ahead of their 2013 debut in Abu Dhabi this week. Woods edges ahead of Luke Donald despite neither player playing last week.

Louis Oosthuizen climbs to a career-high fourth in the wake of his Volvo Champions victory in Durban yesterday.

The South African has moved above Justin Rose and Adam Scott, who both dropped one position.  In the other change to the top 10, Steve Stricker has moved up to 10th, replacing fellow American Jason Dufner. The biggest mover in the rankings was PGA Tour rookie Russell Henley, who became the first player to win his debut tournament in 12 years when he triumphed at the Sony Open in Hawaii.

Henley carded a seven-under 63 to claim a three-shot victory, taking him from 130th in the world to 50th position on the OWGR.

Latest leading positions in the world golf rankings:

1 Rory McIlroy 12.83pts, 2 Tiger Woods 8.29, 3 Luke Donald 8.28, 4 Louis Oosthuizen 6.71, 5 Justin Rose 6.23, 6 Adam Scott 6.15, 7 Lee Westwood 5.81, 8 Brandt Snedeker 5.39, 9 Bubba Watson 5.35, 10 Steve Stricker 5.12, 11 Jason Dufner 5.09, 12 Keegan Bradley 5.07, 13 Dustin Johnson 5.03, 14 Ian Poulter 5.01, 15 Webb Simpson 4.88, 16 Charl Schwartzel 4.76, 17 Graeme McDowell 4.69, 18 Sergio Garcia 4.58, 19 Phil Mickelson 4.51, 20 Peter Hanson 4.48

Other leading Europeans: 28 Martin Kaymer, 29 Paul Lawrie, 30 Francesco Molinari, 31 Carl Pettersson, 33 Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, 35 Nicolas Colsaerts, 41 Matteo Manassero, 45 Thomas Bjorn, 46 David Lynn, 47 Jamie Donaldson, 48 Pádraig Harrington, 52 Thorbjorn Olesen, 53 Richie Ramsay, 54 Shane Lowry, 56 Henrik Stenson, 57 Rafael Cabrera Bello, 59 Miguel Angel Jimenez, 61 Marcel Siem, 62 Alexander Noren, 64 Bernd Wiesberger, 66 Anders Hansen, 69 Fredrik Jacobson, 71 Simon Dyson, 72 Scott Jamieson, 76 Martin Laird, 79 Jonas Blixt, 81 Kristoffer Broberg, 84 Danny Willett, 90 Pablo Larrazabal, 92 Fredrik Andersson Hed, 100 Ross Fisher.

Rory McIlroy backs Paul McGinley for Ryder Cup captaincy

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