Tiger Woods tops world rankings

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Tiger Woods, left, and Arnold Palmer share a laugh during the trophy presentation after Woods won the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament in Orlando, Fla., Monday, March 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

LONDON—Tiger Woods is back at the top of the world rankings for the first time in two and a half years following his win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Florida.

The 37-year-old American was last in that position in October, 2010 before a tangle of personal problems, injuries and changes to his swing pattern sent him tumbling down the table.

He eventually bottomed out at 58th in the world in November 2011 before finally starting to find his way again.

Three wins in five USPGA tournaments so far this year, including back-to-back wins in his last two outings, have seen him move past Rory McIlroy to claim the number one spot.

The Northern Irishman could, however, regain top spot should he win this week’s Houston Open, with Woods opting not to take part as he prepares for the year’s first major, The Masters, which starts at Augusta National on April 11.

England’s Justin Rose meanwhile has moved up to a career-best third place in the rankings on the back of his runner-up finish behind Woods in Florida on Monday.

Leading world rankings:

1. Tiger Woods (USA) 11.87pts

2. Rory McIlroy (NIR) 11.29

3. Justin Rose (ENG) 7.11

4. Luke Donald (ENG) 6.86

5. Brandt Snedeker (USA) 6.39

6. Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) 6.05

7. Adam Scott (AUS) 5.82

8. Steve Stricker (USA) 5.74

9. Matt Kuchar (USA) 5.38

10. Keegan Bradley (USA) 5.25

11. Phil Mickelson (USA) 5.24

12. Ian Poulter (ENG) 5.15

13. Lee Westwood (ENG) 5.12

14. Bubba Watson (USA) 5.07

15. Charl Schwartzel (RSA) 5.01

16. Graeme McDowell (NIR) 4.87

17. Sergio Garcia (ESP) 4.83

18. Jason Dufner (USA) 4.73

19. Webb Simpson (USA) 4.57

20. Dustin Johnson (US) 4.41

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