There is a new No. 2 in the men’s game, as Bubba Watson’s T-14 finish at Riviera was enough to push him into the second spot for the first time in his career.
Watson has nine consecutive top-25 finishes worldwide, including a stirring victory last fall at the WGC-HSBC Champions. He first reached No. 3 last summer at the Memorial.
James Hahn won the Northern Trust Open, and his first PGA Tour title did more than just guarantee him a spot in his first Masters. The 33-year-old also jumped from No. 297 to No. 86 in the world.
Dustin Johnson, who lost on the third playoff hole, surged from No. 21 to No. 15 – even higher than when he left the game in August because of “personal challenges.” The other playoff loser, Paul Casey, moved from No. 85 to No. 65.
Anirban Lahiri won for the second time in three weeks on the European Tour, enough to send him to No. 34 in the world. He’ll play the Masters for the first time.
Finally, an inactive Tiger Woods slipped even further, from No. 66 to 70.
Here is the top 10 in the world heading into this week’s tournaments: No. 1 Rory McIlroy, Bubba Watson, Henrik Stenson, Jason Day, Adam Scott, Sergio Garcia, Jim Furyk, Justin Rose, Jordan Spieth and Martin Kaymer.