New high for McIlroy

Rory McIlroy has reached a higher position on the world rankings than any other 20-year-old before him.

Even though he did not play last week – and pulled out of the Nedbank Challenge a fortnight ago because of a virus – the youngster moves up from 11th to ninth.

Tiger Woods holds a 6.66 points lead over Phil Mickelson three days after he announced he was taking an indefinite break from golf to tackle his personal problems.

When he started his eight-month lay-off after knee surgery last year the American’s lead was over 11 points. He was never caught then, but it could be different is his new hiatus proves another lengthy one.

Latest world rankings:

1 Tiger Woods 15.20pts, 2 Phil Mickelson 8.54, 3 Steve Stricker 6.89, 4 Lee Westwood 6.76, 5 Padraig Harrington 5.75, 6 Jim Furyk 5.70, 7 Paul Casey 5.55, 8 Henrik Stenson 5.54, 9 Rory McIlroy 4.97, 10 Kenny Perry 4.91

11 Sergio Garcia 4.88, 12 Ian Poulter 4.75, 13 Martin Kaymer 4.64, 14 Geoff Ogilvy 4.63, 15 Stewart Cink 4.38, 16 Sean O’Hair 4.36, 17 Ernie Els 4.27, 18 Ross Fisher 4.14, 19 Retief Goosen 4.06, 20 Lucas Glover 3.95

Other leading Europeans:

27 Robert Karlsson, 28 Luke Donald, 35 Soren Kjeldsen, 38 Graeme McDowell, 39 Oliver Wilson, 40 Francesco Molinari, 43 Simon Dyson, 46 Anders Hansen, 47 Miguel Angel Jimenez, 48 Soren Hansen, 50 Alvaro Quiros, 53 Peter Hanson, 54 Alexander Noren, 55 Edoardo Molinari, 63 Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, 67 Ross McGowan, 70 Justin Rose, 72 Chris Wood, 82 Anthony Wall, 88 Gregory Bourdy

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