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As Tiger descends Europe ascends

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Europe’s golf “stock” is on the rise.

The United States’ is falling.

A look at the game’s leading indicators:

• England’s Lee Westwood is the new No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking today.

• Europeans have won two of the last three majors (Germany’s Martin Kaymer the PGA Championship and Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell the U.S. Open).

• Six of the top 10 players in the world rankings are Euros. At the start of the 2008 season, there were just two Euros among the top 10 (England’s Justin Rose and Ireland’s Padraig Harrington). Here's something to consider, too. The average age of the European contingent in today's top 10 is 29 years old. The Americans' average age is 39.

• Europe just won the Ryder Cup for the fourth time over the last five played.

• Tiger Woods slipped to No. 2 in the world this week with Phil Mickelson slipping from No. 2 to No. 4 this fall.

“The fact that Lee [Westwood] reached the World No. 1 spot playing most of his golf on The European Tour gives everyone involved with our Tour an immense amount of satisfaction, and we congratulate Lee and his team on this tremendous achievement,” said George O’Grady, the European Tour’s chief executive.