Garcia closes gap, McGrane makes move


GOLF WORLD RANKINGS: Sergio Garcia has narrowed Tiger Woods’ lead at the top of the world rankings from more than 11 points last June to less than three.

With Woods still out of action, Garcia has not finished outside the top eight in his last seven tournaments. He was seventh in the Qatar Masters yesterday.

Fellow Spaniard Alvaro Quiros won the event and climbs from 74th all the way to 28th. He is now set for a Masters debut at Augusta in April, the top 50 qualifying the week before the tournament.

Pádraig Harrington remains in third but is tied with Phil Mickelson, who both have a points average of 6.67, compared to Garcia’s 7.95 and Woods’ target of 10.75.

Behind Harrington, Graeme McDowell overtook Rory McIlroy to be the next Irishman in the standings. He climbed two places to 34th, while the Holywood teenager dropped five places to 39th this week.

Damien McGrane made the biggest move of the Irish contingent after the Meath pro finished fourth in Qatar and climbed 43 places to 130th.

Pat Perez claimed his maiden PGA Tour title by winning the Bob Hope Classic in California after an eagle on the final. He is up to 59th.

Latest leading world rankings:

1 Tiger Woods 10.75pts
2 Sergio Garcia 7.95
3 Pádraig Harrington 6.67
4 Phil Mickelson 6.67
5 Vijay Singh 6.41
6 Geoff Ogilvy 5.08
7 Henrik Stenson 4.93
8 Robert Karlsson 4.93
9 Anthony Kim 4.78
10 Camilo Villegas 4.70
11 Lee Westwood 4.49
12 Ernie Els 4.40
13 Jim Furyk 4.10
14 Adam Scott 3.93
15 Kenny Perry 3.81
16 Steve Stricker 3.78
17 Stewart Cink 3.62
18 KJ Choi 3.54
19 Martin Kaymer 3.36
20 Mike Weir 3.34

Selected Irish rankings:

34 Graeme McDowell
39 Rory McIlroy
73 Darren Clarke
92 Gareth Maybin
116 Paul McGinley
130 Damien McGrane
179 Peter Lawrie
304 Michael Hoey
390 Gary Murphy
461 Michael McGeady