Els won eight times worldwide in the last 13 months and moved ahead of Phil Mickelson into the second spot in the rankings. This week marked the first time the reigning British Open champion held the second place since February of 2001.
Tiger Woods remained in first as he missed the Mercedes Championships due to knee surgery. Mickelson dipped to third as he too missed the season-opening event to be with his family.
Retief Goosen and David Toms moved up one spot each to take fourth and fifth, respectively. Sergio Garcia fell two notches to sixth place, followed by Vijay Singh, Padraig Harrington, Davis Love III and Colin Montgomerie.
Chris DiMarco came in 11th, Jim Furyk took 12th and Nick Price finished in 13th this week. Rocco Mediate tied for second in Hawaii and jumped 12 places to 14th.
Justin Leonard held the 15th ranking, followed by Angel Cabrera, David Duval, Bernhard Langer, 2002 PGA Champion Rich Beem and Robert Allenby.
K.J. Choi, who also tied for second at the Mercedes Championships, moved up 15 places to 26th this week. Trevor Immelman, who won the South African Airways Open in a playoff, climbed 40 spots to 62nd, his highest ranking ever.