Rory McIlroy ascended to world No. 1 for the first time in March.
Eight months later, it appears he won’t forfeit the top spot any time soon.
With a stirring victory Sunday at the DP World Tour Championship, his fifth worldwide title of the season, McIlroy extended his advantage in the world rankings to 4.33 points ahead of No. 2 Luke Donald. That’s the largest gap between the Nos. 1- and 2-ranked players since February 2010, when Tiger Woods held such a sizable lead on Steve Stricker.
Justin Rose’s final-round 62 in Dubai also had significant ramifications. His runner-up finish in the European Tour’s season finale moved the Englishman from seventh to a career-best fourth in the world.
Lee Westwood, meanwhile, continued to slide down the rankings, dropping from fourth to sixth after a 48th-place finish in the 56-man event. He hasn’t been ranked this low in more than three years.