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Zurich winner Horschel cracks top 50 in OWGR for first time

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It’s hard to believe now, but Billy Horschel ended last season ranked 312th in the world, a recent graduate of PGA Tour Q-School.

After a torrid run that culminated Sunday with his first PGA Tour title, the former Florida standout is up to 49th.

His Zurich Classic victory – his fourth consecutive top-10 finish – moved Horschel inside the top 50 for the first time. At 49th, he’s a spot behind D.A. Points, the runner-up in New Orleans.

Only Tiger Woods, Brandt Snedeker, Adam Scott and Matt Kuchar have gained more world-ranking points this season than Horschel’s 107.853.

The top 14 spots in the world ranking remained unchanged from a week ago. The top 10: Woods, Rory McIlroy, Scott, Justin Rose, Luke Donald, Snedeker, Louis Oosthuizen, Graeme McDowell, Steve Stricker and Kuchar.

Woods announced last week that he will not play in this week’s Wells Fargo Championship. His absence won’t cost him his No. 1 ranking this week, however.

An official OWGR projection shows that McIlroy cannot pass Woods for No. 1 this week, even if he wins at Quail Hollow, meaning Tiger will be the top-ranked player heading into The Players.