Howell beat Peter Uihlein on the second hole of Sunday's playoff and took the title of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championships. That marked the first time in five tries that Howell survived a tournament playoff.
It was his fifth European Tour win but first since May 2006.
He's now ranked 94th after starting the week 176th. He was 258th in the rankings when the year began. Uihlein, who was seeking his second professional title (he won the Madeira Islands Open in May), goes from 100th to No. 69 in the rankings.
There were no changes in the Top 10 this week. Tiger Woods, who last week was voted the PGA Tour's Player of the Year for a record 11th time, has been ranked No. 1 for the last 28 weeks and a record 651 weeks overall.
The men's world golf rankings, listing player's name, home country and ranking points:
1. Tiger Woods, United States, 13.03
2. Adam Scott, Australia, 9.38
3. Phil Mickelson, United States, 8.60
4. Henrik Stenson, Sweden, 8.19
5. Justin Rose, England, 7.66
6. Rory McIlroy, Northern Ireland, 7.33
7. Steve Stricker, United States, 6.80
8. Matt Kuchar, United States, 6.67
9. Brandt Snedeker, United States, 6.30
10. Jason Dufner, United States, 6.00