Euro trio fight for top spot
Donald, McIlroy and Westwood vying to leave Augusta as No.1
Last Updated: 02/04/12 12:52pm
(L-R) Donald, McIlroy and Westwood will battle it out for top spot at Augusta this week
Luke Donald, Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood fill the top three spots on the world rankings heading into The Masters - and any one of them could be number one at the end of the week.
Winning his first major after so many near-misses is the main objective for Westwood, but it would have the additional bonus of taking him back to the top if Donald finishes outside the top 10 and McIlroy the top seven.
Things are much tighter between Donald and McIlroy, but if the Northern Irishman records a top-five finish then Donald would have to be alongside or above him to retain the number one spot.
Hunter Mahan is now the top-ranked American in the world with his victory at the Houston Open on Sunday having seen him move just in behind the European trio in fourth.
Mahan's triumph saw him clamber ahead of both Steve Stricker and Tiger Woods.
Woods, who remains in sixth spot, could climb as high as third by capturing his 15th major at Augusta National this week.
He fell outside the top 50 last October, but ended more than two years without a victory at the limited-field Chevron World Challenge and then eight days ago had his first PGA Tour success for 30 months at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Florida.
Latest leading positions in the world golf rankings:
1 Luke Donald 9.70pts, 2 Rory McIlroy 9.59, 3 Lee Westwood 7.76, 4 Hunter Mahan 5.75, 5 Steve Stricker 5.67, 6 Martin Kaymer 5.64, 7 Tiger Woods 5.53, 8 Charl Schwartzel 5.09, 9 Justin Rose 5.06, 10 Webb Simpson 5.04 11 Jason Day 4.97, 12 Dustin Johnson 4.92, 13 Adam Scott 5.87, 14 Phil Mickelson 4.82, 15 Graeme McDowell 4.80, 16 Bubba Watson 4.56, 17 Bill Haas 4.51, 18 Matt Kuchar 4.46, 19 Keegan Bradley 4.29, 20 Nick Watney 4.18
Other leading Europeans:
21 Sergio Garcia, 24 Ian Poulter, 25 Peter Hanson, 32 Thomas Bjorn, 33 Alvaro Quiros, 35 Martin Laird, 36 Simon Dyson, 37 Robert Karlsson, 38 Paul Casey, 40 Anders Hansen, 43 Paul Lawrie, 45 Fredrik Jacobson, 46 Francesco Molinari, 51 Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, 52 Miguel Angel Jimenez, 57 Robert Rock, 59 Darren Clarke, 63 Matteo Manassero, 65 Nicolas Colsaerts, 66 Rafael Cabrera Bello, 68 Carl Pettersson, 76 Michael Hoey, 77 Joost Luiten, 81 Alexander Noren, 84 Pablo Larrazabal, 91 Edoardo Molinari, 93 David Lynn, 94 Jamie Donaldson, 96 Padraig Harrington, 97 Brian Davis, 100 Thorbjorn Olesen