WHILE Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods are back at first and second in the world ahead of their 2013 debuts in Abu Dhabi this week, the standings continue to make good viewing from a Scottish perspective.
Scott Jamieson, runner-up in the Volvo Golf Champions in Durban on Sunday, has jumped from 100th to 72nd, boosting his hopes of getting into the top 64 before the cut-off for next month’s WGC Match Play in Arizona.
Paul Lawrie, joint-seventh in South Africa, remains in 29th spot, where he ended last year, while Richie Ramsay is up three to 53rd, leapfrogging Shane Lowry, after he also finished in the top ten on Sunday.
Ramsay needs to be in the top 50 at the end of March to get into the Masters, as does Martin Laird, who has dropped five spots to 76th. A week after Jamieson made it five Scots in the top 100, that figure is back down to four again after Stephen Gallacher dropped four spots to 102nd.
He makes his return from knee surgery in the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship and will be looking for a good performance to get him back amongst the game’s elite.
Woods, meanwhile, has edged ahead of Luke Donald again under the rolling two-year system, but Louis Oosthuizen’s move up from sixth to a career-high fourth is easier to explain – he won the Volvo Champions.
Padraig Harrington, who tied for fourth in Durban, is back in the top 50 for the first time since June 2011 while Russell Henley, the PGA Tour rookie who won the Sony Open in Hawaii, has catapulted himself from 130th to 50th.
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 Padraig 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.