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Thompson rises to 45th in world, earns Doral berth

Michael Thompson in the 2013 Honda Classic
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Michael Thompson outplayed some of the best players in the world Sunday in winning the Honda Classic.

Now, in the world rankings at least, he has joined them.

After his breakthrough victory at PGA National, Thompson rose from 114th to 45th in the latest world rankings, released Monday. That’s good timing: The top 50 in the world as of March 3 earn a spot in this week’s WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral. Another last-minute addition to the field was Geoff Ogilvy, as the Australian’s runner-up finish moved him fro 79th to 47th. It was his best result in a PGA Tour event since fall 2010.

The other players who qualified for Doral via the top 10 in the FedEx Cup standings: Russell Henley (world No. 51), Brian Gay (No. 114), Charles Howell III (No. 66) and John Merrick (No. 77).

World No. 1 Rory McIlroy cannot forfeit his top spot in the world this week, even if Tiger Woods wins at Doral. In the top 50, only Hiroyuki Fujita has earned as few world-ranking points (1.999) this season as McIlroy, who has a missed cut (Abu Dhabi), a withdrawal (Honda) and a first-round loss at the WGC-Match Play on his resume.

Despite the stacked field at the Honda, there was very little movement in the top 10: McIlroy, Woods, Luke Donald, Brandt Snedeker, Justin Rose (up from 6th), Louis Oosthuizen (down from 5th), Adam Scott, Matt Kuchar, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter.

Luke Guthrie, the other main protagonist at the Honda, rose from 106th to 64th in the world.