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February 28 2011

12:44 AM

Europeans claim top 4 spots in world

MARANA, Ariz. – For the first time since 1992,  the top four players in the Official World Golf Ranking are all from Europe.

Martin Kaymer officially took over No. 1 when the rankings were released on Sunday night. Luke Donald, who beat Kaymer to win the  World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship, rose from ninth to third, the highest ranking of his career.

Lee Westwood, who was eliminated in the second round at Dove Mountain, fell to second. He had held the top spot for 17 weeks, after ending Tiger Woods’ reign at 281 straight weeks.

Graeme McDowell, who lost in the Accenture quarterfinals, remained at No. 4 but he is now ahead of Woods, who has dropped two spots to fifth. The last time Woods was ranked lower than third in the world was April 6, 1997 prior to his first Masters victory.  A week later, Woods had climbed 10 spots to No. 3 behind Greg Norman and Tom Lehman.

The last time four Europeans led the way was on March 15, 1992 when Ian Woosnam of Wales was No. 1, England’s Nick Faldo was No. 2 and Spain’s Jose Maria Olazabal was No. 3 and Seve Ballesteros was No. 4.

Here is the new top 10 in the Official World Golf Ranking:

Rank Player Country
1. Martin Kaymer Germany
2. Lee Westwood England
3. Luke Donald England
4. Graeme McDowell Northern Ireland
5. Tiger Woods United States
6. Phil Mickelson United States
7. Paul Casey England
8. Rory McIlroy Northern Ireland
9. Steve Stricker United States
10. Matt Kuchar United States
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