Beem Surges 81 Spots in Golf Ranking


Rich Beem, who had to wait out an amazing late onslaught from Steve Lowery before he could finally hoist the trophy for winning The International on Sunday, jumped 81 spots to No. 73 in this week's Official World Golf Ranking.
Beem, 31, exploded for a 19-point final round under the unique modified Stableford scoring system at Castle Pines Golf Club in Colorado. Beem had opened a commanding 10-point lead on the back nine, but following a weather delay Lowery was able to gain ground in big chunks with a five-point eagle on the 15th and a eight-point double-eagle on the 17th, both with holed shots from the fairway.
One point down playing the 18th, Lowery knocked his approach to 10 feet but missed the birdie putt that would have given him a one-point victory. Instead, an emotional Beem celebrated his second win on the PGA Tour, and his first since his breakthrough triumph at the 1999 Kemper Open.
Lowery, who captured his first tour title at the 1994 International, notched his second runner-up finish in three starts to move back into the world top-50, from 68th to No. 46.
Tiger Woods, who can get halfway to Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 major titles with a win at next week's PGA Championship at Hazeltine, remained firmly ensconced as the No. 1 golfer on the planet. The rest of the top-six -- Phil Mickelson, British Open winner Ernie Els, Retief Goosen, Sergio Garcia and reigning PGA champ David Toms -- also held on to their spots from last week.
Smiling Irishman Padraig Harrington climbed one rung to No. 7 in an exchange of positions with Davis Love III, the 1997 PGA titlist at Winged Foot.
The struggling David Duval has missed the cut six times in his last nine starts but managed to keep the ninth spot in the rankings. He was followed from 10th to 13th by Vijay Singh, Nick Price, Jim Furyk and New Zealand's Michael Campbell.
Angel Cabrera of Argentina advanced two spots for the second straight week and now resides at No. 14, while Bob Estes returned to the 15th spot after dipping to 17 last week.
Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke and Scotland's Colin Montgomerie slipped two slots each to 16th and 17th in the world, respectively.
Chris DiMarco, who held the 18th position for the second week in a row, was No. 13 just two weeks ago.
Rocco Mediate was the only player to climb into the top-20 this week. He gained two spots to take over 19th, knocking Kenny Perry one back to No. 20.
Backing up one spot to No. 21 was Scott Verplank, one of Curtis Strange's captain's picks for the U.S. Ryder Cup team.
At the European Tour stop in Sweden this past weekend, Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell won the Scandinavian Masters in only his fourth start since turning professional in June. The former college standout from the University of Alabama-Birmingham moved to 219th in the world.