| 8.2°C Dublin

ROOKIE IS RISING TO THE OCCASION

Ernst goes up 1,084 places after his Quail victory American Derek Ernst has climbed an incredible 1,084 places in the world rankings following his victory in the Wells Fargo Championship last night.

Ernst, 22, has moved from 1,207th to 123rd on the latest standings courtesy of beating England's David Lynn on the first hole of a play-off at Quail Hollow.

Lynn has the consolation of moving from 64th to 42nd, while there was no change in the top nine places. Phil Mickelson, who bogeyed two of the last three holes at Quail Hollow to miss out on the play-off, moved from 11th to 10th.

Rory McIlroy shot a one under par 71 to finish tied for tenth place on four under overall.

Rookie Ernst, 22, who birdied the 72nd hole to tie for the lead, won his first PGA Tour title with a tap-in par at the par-four 18th after Lynn, runner-up at last year's PGA Championship, got into trouble off the tee in sudden death.

Entering the field as the fourth alternate, Ernst won his maiden title in his eighth start on the tour. The Californian's previous best finish was a tie for 41st at the 2012 Frys.com Open.

Lynn hit his tee shot on the playoff hole into deep rough on the left, put his second shot into a greenside bunker on the right and overshot the green when blasting out. His chip ran eight feet past the cup, allowing the American to win with par.

Ernst and Lynn both shot final rounds of two-under-par 70 to finish tied at eight-under-par 280 on a wet, chilly day that brought the golfers out early in the morning in hopes of beating stormy weather forecast for later in the day. Phil Mickelson, the overnight co-leader, was also eight under par with two holes to play, but bogeyed the par-three 17th hole to miss out on the playoff. The big left-hander shot a final-round 73 to finish alone in third on seven-under 281.

Another stroke back at six-under were Briton Lee Westwood (72) and Robert Karlsson of Sweden (72). At five under par were Americans Kevin Streelman, Ryan Moore, Bo Van Pelt and Kim Stanley, one shot better than a group of six that included world number two Ireland's McIlroy and Briton Ross Fisher.

Meanwhile, McIlroy has re-iterated that he has no intention of being rushed into choosing whether he represents Ireland or Britain at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero.

 

RETURN

Golf will make its return to the Olympic programme in Rio for the first time since 1904 and McElroy has found himself in a bit of a bind over what flag he will be representing.

McIlroy competed for Ireland at golf's World Cup in 2011 but the Northern Irishman believes he is also eligible to compete for Team GB because of an International Olympic Committee regulation.

"Rule 41 of the IOC states I still have a choice. They can't take it away from me," he said. "If you play for a country then either change nationality or don't play for that country for three years, you still have a choice. I haven't played for anyone since the 2011 World Cup. Going into the Olympics that will be five years, so I'll still have a choice."

The 23-year-old two-time major winner is, however, will take his time making a final decision, adding: "The more it's talked about, the more it's going to get blown up so I'd rather not talk about it until I have to decide what to do."

official world rankings TOP 10: 1 T Woods 11.79, 2 R McIlroy 10.40, 3 A Scott 7.80, 4 J Rose 6.67, 5 L Donald 6.46, 6 B Snedeker 6.32, 7 L Oosthuizen 5.75, 8 G McDowell 5.42, 9 S Stricker 5.34, 10, P Mickelson 5.31.


Privacy