Sunday 19 November 2017

Rory McIlroy ends year as golf’s number one

Rory McIlroy. Photo: PA
Rory McIlroy. Photo: PA

Mark Garrod

CHARL Schwartzel and Sergio Garcia end the year 14th and 16th in the world respectively after their weekend wins in South Africa and Malaysia.

Schwartzel followed an 11-shot victory at the Thailand Championship with a 12-stroke triumph - the third biggest margin in European Tour history - at the Alfred Dunhill Championship.

Garcia shot a closing 61 to take the Johor Iskandar Open by three, a performance which means eight of Europe's Ryder Cup side in Chicago have lifted trophies since that memorable week in September.

Three of them - Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald and Justin Rose - finish 2012 in the world's top four and there are 19 Europeans in the leading 50.

Dane Thorbjorn Olesen held on to 50th spot by 0.01 ranking points from Australian Geoff Ogilvy and so earns himself a US Masters debut next April.

Paul Lawrie, Jamie Donaldson, Nicolas Colsaerts, Francesco Molinari, Matteo Manassero, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and Thomas Bjorn have also now qualified for Augusta through the top 50.

They are in addition to 18 other Europeans who had already booked their places in the first major of 2013.

*Final 2012 positions in the world golf rankings (end of 2011 positions in brackets):

1 (3) Rory McIlroy 13.22pts, 2 (1) Luke Donald 8.62, 3 (23) Tiger Woods 8.53, 4 (18) Justin Rose 6.42, 5 (5) Adam Scott 6.21, 6 (40) Louis Oosthuizen 6.14, 7 (2) Lee Westwood 6.03, 8 (21) Bubba Watson 5.30, 9 (33) Jason Dufner 5.29, 10 (38) Brandt Snedeker 5.23

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