Woods climbs up to No. 2 in world, Els back into top 20 with Open win

Tiger Woods at the British Open
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Tiger Woods tied for third at the British Open on Sunday, but advanced to second in the world rankings.
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Series: PGA Tour

Published: Monday, July 23, 2012 | 1:27 p.m.

LYTHAM ST. ANNES -- Tiger Woods continued his climb up the world rankings after finishing tied for third in the British Open on Sunday, but what he is really interested in is adding to his tally of 14 majors.

Woods, who moved up to second just behind Luke Donald, briefly threatened to make a challenge on the final day at Royal Lytham. However, the closest he got to overnight leader Adam Scott -- before his dramatic late collapse to hand the victory to Ernie Els -- was four shots after five holes. From there, it began to unravel for Woods with a triple-bogey 7 at the sixth when he found trouble in a greenside bunker.


Luke Donald is now in his 54th week atop the world rankings, and remains fifth on the all-time list. Seve Ballesteros, who led for 61 weeks, is fourth.



1. Luke Donald


2. Tiger Woods


3. Rory McIlroy


4. Lee Westwood


5. Webb Simpson


6. Adam Scott


7. Bubba Watson


8. Jason Dufner


9. Matt Kuchar


10. Justin Rose


Els, meanwhile, carded a back-nine 32 to win the Claret Jug for the second time and move up to No. 15 in the latest edition of the Official World Golf Ranking. Els, who began 2012 at No. 56 in the world, had arrived at Royal Lytham ranked 40th.

Donald remains No. 1 after tying for fifth at the Open, with Woods edging ahead of Rory McIlroy for second. Lee Westwood drops a spot to fourth place after tying for 45th, while reigning U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson, who skipped the Open to be with his wife as she prepares to give birth to their second child, remains in fifth.

Adam Scott, despite his heartbreak on Sunday, advances from 13th up to sixth place. Bubba Watson slides down a spot to seventh to make room for Scott, while Jason Dufner slips from seventh to eighth place. Matt Kuchar goes from eighth to ninth, and Justin Rose drops from ninth to 10th place.

The second 10 includes No. 11 Graeme McDowell (up from 12th), No. 12 Zach Johnson (down from 11th), No. 13 Hunter Mahan (down from 10th), No. 14 Steve Stricker, No. 15 Els, No. 16 Dustin Johnson (up from 17th), No. 17 Phil Mickelson (down from 14th), No. 18 Martin Kaymer (down from 15th), No. 19 Louis Oosthuizen (down from 18th) and No. 20 Rickie Fowler.

Woods has not won a major since 2008 but insists it is not a worry.

"It's part of golf. We all go through these phases -- some people it lasts entire careers, others are a little bit shorter," he said. "Even the greatest players to ever play have all gone through little stretches like this. When your playing careers last 40 and 50 years, you're going to have stretches like this.

"I was right there. The game plan was to shoot under par going out so I was in position to do what I wanted to do and then turn home and shoot maybe 1 or 2 under on the back nine," he explained. "I would have posted an 8 or 9 under par and I thought that was going to be the number to win the golf tournament.

"Unfortunately, I just didn't do it."

Woods had some sympathy for Scott after his late collapse as his bid for a first major ended in failure.

"It's happened to all of us at one point or another," he said. "We've all been in positions to win golf tournaments and sometimes people go ahead and win them and take them away from you, other times we make mistakes. That's just the way it goes."

Donald takes pride in his No. 1 ranking but remains desperate to win at least one major.

"It's nice being No. 1. I'll continue to work hard on my game and try and produce good results," said the Englishman, who won the money lists on both sides of the Atlantic last year. "World rankings are a little bit more about consistency and I've probably been the most consistent player over the year. But I think it would be fantastic to win one (a major) here.

"Even being somewhat in contention, having the crowd really behind me walking down 18, is a special feeling," he added. "I can only imagine what that would be like with a one-shot lead -- and hopefully I'll have that opportunity one day."