Woods opens up huge lead in world golf ranking


Tiger Woods won at Firestone in a blowout, and his new lead in the world rankings is just as substantial.

With his fifth victory of the season, Woods opened up more than a 5 1/2-point lead over No. 2 Phil Mickelson in the latest OWGR, released Monday, making it increasingly likely that Woods will end the season as the No. 1-ranked player in the world.

Keegan Bradley, who tied for second in his title defense at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, was the only other player in the top 10 to make a move. He rose from 17th to 10th.

Henrik Stenson enjoyed an even more impressive rise. The Swede, who ended last season at No. 53 in the rankings, is all the way up to 11th after his T-2 in Akron. In his last nine worldwide events, Stenson has four top-5 finishes, including three in a row at the Scottish Open, British Open and Bridgestone. This is the highest he has been ranked since February 2010. His career-best ranking is No. 5.

Gary Woodland, who won the opposite-field event in Reno for his first PGA Tour title since March 2011, jumped from 268th to 152nd. He has struggled the past few seasons with injuries and swing changes.

The top 10 heading into the year’s final major: Woods, Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Adam Scott, Matt Kuchar, Brandt Snedeker, Graeme McDowell, Luke Donald and Bradley.