McIlroy back to No. 1 spot in golf

May 7, 2012 at 5:53 AM
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VIRGINIA WATER, England, May 7 (UPI) -- Rory McIlroy again swapped places with Like Donald and regained the men's world No. 1 golf ranking.

McIlroy finished tied for second -- as Rickie Fowler won on the first playoff hole -- at the PGA Tour's Wells Fargo Championship. That boosts McIlroy back into the No. 1 spot for the third time. His previous stays at the top of the rankings each latest two weeks.

Donald was No. 1 for 40 weeks before McIlroy passed him March 4. Donald took over on top for four weeks before McIlroy's second tenure on top and was No. 1 last week.

It's the most unsettled the rankings have been since a period in spring 1998 when Ernie Els and Tiger Woods contested for the No. 1 ranking.

The only other Top 10 change this week had Webb Simpson, who finished one stroke out of the three-way playoff at the Wells Fargo Championship, moving from 14th to No. 9. Justin Rose drops from ninth to 11th.

McIlroy has a rankings points average of 9.779 with Donald coming in at 9.387. Lee Westwood is third with an 8.401 ranking while Bubba Watson (6.460) is fourth and Hunter Mahan (5.659) takes fifth.

Steve Stricker is sixth at 5.496 followed by Woods (5.289) and Martin Kaymer (5.229). Simson's average is 5.169) while Phil Mickelson (5.158) completes the Top 10.

Fowler goes from 39th to No. 24 after the win at the Wells Fargo Championship. Francesco Molinari won the European Tour's Spanish Open and jumps from 46th to No. 29 this week.

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