J.B. Holmes moved another step closer to the top 10 in the Official World Ranking with his playoff victory at the Shell Houston Open.
The fourth win of his PGA Tour career moved Holmes from No. 20 to a career-best No. 12 in the world. In his last six starts, he has a win, a playoff loss (Torrey Pines) and another runner-up finish (Doral, where he squandered a five-shot lead).
Just 13 months ago, Holmes was ranked No. 509. He won the Wells Fargo Championship last May to surge into the top 70, then put together a strong start to the 2014-15 season in which he has already surpassed a career high in earnings ($2.94M) and matched a career best in top-10s (four).
Another big move was made by Johnson Wagner, who lost on the second extra hole in Houston. Playing the event on a sponsor exemption, Johnson earned a spot in next week’s RBC Heritage and rose from No. 495 to No. 207.
Tiger Woods will return to the Masters as the 111th-ranked player in the world – sandwiched between Tomohiro Kondo and Hennie Otto. It is the first time he has played a major as a pro while outside the top 100.
Here’s the rest of the top 10 in the world heading into the year’s first major:
1. Rory McIlroy
3. Bubba Watson
5. Jason Day
6. Adam Scott
8. Jim Furyk
10. Jimmy Walker