Damron Cracks Top-100 in World Golf Rankings


It took 132 starts and four playoff holes, but Robert Damron managed to reel in his first PGA Tour victory at the Verizon Byron Nelson Classic near Dallas, and in the process moved into the top-100 in the official World Golf Rankings.
The 28-year-old Damron, who jumped into the 76th spot in the points-based rankings, rolled an 18-foot birdie putt on the fourth extra hole at the TPC at Las Colinas to defeat hometown favorite Scott Verplank. Damron collected a first-place check for $810,000, more than he made in any one of his four previous seasons on tour.
Tiger Woods, who still holds a healthy lead over second-ranked Phil Mickelson, posted a final-round 63 at the Nelson to finish tied for third in his first action since winning the Masters over a month ago. He has six top-five finishes in nine starts this season. The World No. 1 will travel to Germany this week to take part in the European Tour's Deutsche Bank - SAP Open, an event he won in 1999.
Mickelson, the defending champion at this week's Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, is followed by No. 3 Ernie Els
and No. 4 Lee Westwood. Els missed his third cut in 11 starts this season at the Byron Nelson Classic, while Westwood tied for 57th at the European Tour event at The Belfry.
< tgclink page=12201 select=11133> David Duval moved up two spots to fifth after finishing third alongside Woods and Nick Price in Dallas. To make room, Vijay Singh and Colin Montgomerie each backed up one place into sixth and seventh, respectively.
Davis Love III, Darren Clarke and Hal Sutton held their positions to round out the top-10.
Mike Weir moved up to 11th in an exchange of places with Jim Furyk, while Price vaulted four spots to 13th on the strength of his best showing of the season this past week.
Thomas Bjorn gained one place and bumped Tom Lehman back to 15th. Sergio Garcia remained in 16th.
David Toms, winner of the Compaq Classic of New Orleans two Sundays ago, tied for 11th with Singh and Weir at the Byron Nelson. He moved up one to 17th, followed by Michael Campbell in 18th and Mark Calcavecchia in 19th.
Jesper Parnevik, who tied for 62nd in defense of his 2000 Byron Nelson title, dropped seven spots to 20th place in the rankings.
Verplank jumped from 37th to 25th, while Henrik Stenson, who notched his breakthrough win at The Belfry on Sunday, cracked the top-100 at 92nd.