Lee Westwood believes he is "going in the right direction" after his victory at the Thailand Golf Championship on Sunday in the final tournament on the global golf calendar for 2011. His seven-shot success enabled the 38-year-old Englishman to take the No. 2 spot in the final edition of the 2011 Official World Golf Rankings away from Rory McIlroy.
Ian Poulter, meanwhile, is back in the top 20 and will end the year 16th thanks to his three-stroke win at the JBWere Masters in Australia.
Luke Donald gained 533 ranking points, by far the most in 2011. Rory McIlroy's total of 360 was second.
1. Luke Donald
2. Lee Westwood
3. Rory McIlroy
4. Martin Kaymer
5. Adam Scott
6. Steve Stricker
7. Dustin Johnson
8. Jason Day
9. Charl Schwartzel
10. Webb Simpson
England now has five of the world's top 20, led, of course, by No. 1 Luke Donald.
And Spain's Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano moves back into the top 50 just in time to secure his Masters debut at Augusta National next April.
Of the year-ending top 10, Webb Simpson made the biggest leap forward, all the way from 213rd to 10th.
Martin Kaymer, the 2010 PGA Champion, remains in fourth, with Adam Scott ensconsed in fifth. The top-rated American is Steve Stricker in sixth, with Dustin Johnson right behind him. Australia’s Jason Day is eighth, with reigning Masters champion Charl Schwartzel in ninth.
The second 10 includes No. 11 Matt Kuchar, No. 12 Nick Watney, No. 13 McDowell, No. 14 Mickelson, No. 15 K.J. Choi, No. 16 Ian Poulter, No. 17 Sergio Garcia, No. 18 Justin Rose, No. 19 Hunter Mahan and No. 20 Casey.
For 2011, Tiger Woods fell from second to 23rd in 2011, Phil Mickelson from fourth to 14th and Jim Furyk from fifth to 50th, while the others to drop out of the top 10 are Graeme McDowell (sixth to 13th) and Paul Casey (eighth to 20th).
For Westwood, the focus now is on 2012 and finally ending his quest to win a major, and he has rejoined the PGA Tour to that end.
"I'm going to continue to work on my fitness and all aspects of my game," he said. "I'm going in the right direction, I can see a lot of improvement and I'm happy with the way I've finished the year, I've won two out of my last three events.
"I'll go into the winter with a lot of confidence and I'll try to come out next year playing the same kind of golf as I played this week, a little bit leaner and well rested."