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Ernst rises 1,084 spots in OWGR; now No. 123

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In a year that has proven it only takes one good week to turn around a poor season – we’re looking at you, Michael Thompson, D.A. Points and Martin Laird – Derek Ernst’s victory Sunday at the Wells Fargo Championship might be the most surprising.

Just how improbable was his playoff win at Quail Hollow?

Consider this: Ernst, a 22-year-old rookie, rose 1,084 spots – 1,084! – in the latest Official World Golf Ranking, from No. 1,207 at the start of the week to his current position at No. 123.

Among the many perks for the former UNLV standout are a two-year exemption, as well as a last-minute invite into The Players Championship, the WGC-Bridgestone, PGA Championship, Tournament of Champions at Kapalua and next year’s Masters. 

Brett Rumford, a back-to-back winner on the European Tour, continued his rapid ascent in the rankings. Two weeks ago, he was No. 237. Now, after consecutive victories at the Ballantine’s Championship and Volvo China Open, the Australian is ranked 76th.

The top 10 remained largely unchanged, save for Phil Mickelson swapping spots with Matt Kuchar and sitting at No. 10. This week’s event at TPC Sawgrass could produce much volatility, however.

The rest of the top 10: Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott, Justin Rose, Luke Donald, Brandt Snedeker, Louis Oosthuizen, Graeme McDowell, Steve Stricker and Mickelson.