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Britain now occupies top three spots in world ranking

LONDON – British golfers hold the top three spots in the world rankings for the first time in their 25-year history after Rory McIlroy rose to third Monday following his triumph at the U.S. Open.

Having started the year at No. 10, the Northern Irishman overtook PGA Championship holder Martin Kaymer on Monday without playing last weekend because of the German’s poor showing at the BMW International Open.

English duo Luke Donald and Lee Westwood occupy the top two places.

“We’ve fed off each other’s success,” McIlroy told Sky Sports TV. “We saw Lee get to No. 1 in the world and Luke has been very consistent for the last two years. We’re working hard to beat one another and strive to be better than everyone else.”

McIlroy won the U.S. Open by a record eight-shot margin at Congressional on June 19. His next tournament is the British Open at Royal St. George’s in Sandwich, England, starting July 14.

McIlroy says he wants to keep playing well while Tiger Woods continues his recovery from an injured left leg.

“It’s a good time for me to win things when he’s not playing his best,” McIlroy said. “The first thing for Tiger is to get healthy and see what happens from there.

“I don’t know if anyone can answer if he’ll get back to where he was 10 years ago, but a lot of people would like to see him back on the course.”

Woods hasn’t won a title since the Australian Masters in November 2009. The 14-time major champion has plunged to No. 17 in the world, his lowest spot in the ranking since 1997. He is yet to announce whether he will be fit for the British Open.