London, April 24 (IANS) Former British Open winner Ben Curtis ended a six-year wait for a PGA Tour victory by winning the Valero Texas Open at San Antonio, US. By winning the title, Curtis vaulted from 285th position to 156th in the latest edition of the Official World Golf Ranking.
'It's been a tough couple of years,' said Curtis, who had been playing on a limited status after having not won since the 2006 84 Lumber Classic, according to Golf.com.
Despite his lack of recent success, he played well by setting up after a bogey-free opening two rounds and never trailed after starting with the 54-hole lead.
Back-to-back bogeys at Nos. 11 and 12 dropped Curtis back level with Matt Every, but after he and John Huh faltered late, Curtis birdied the last to seal his two-shot victory.
Every, who was denied a first PGA Tour title after his course-record 63 on Thursday, bogeyed No. 15 to slip a stroke back alongside Huh. Curtis made a clutch par putt on the 17th and when Every and Huh failed to birdie the last he reached the final green with two shots to secure the title.
World rank number three Lee Westwood of England, won the Indonesian Masters for the second straight year but didn't cause great trouble for the top two as his ranking was unchanged.
There were no changes in the top 10 world rankings this week with Northern Irish star Rory McIlroy on top and Britons Luke Donald placed second just ahead of his countryman Westwood. The top-ranked American Bubba Watson retains his number four rank ahead of Hunter Mahan in fifth.
Martin Kaymer, the lone German in the top 10 and 2010 PGA Champion, is stuck in sixth, followed by another American golfer Steve Stricker. Tiger Woods, the former world number one who is ranked number eight remains just ahead of Phil Mickelson from USA. With Doral open winner Justin Rose of England intact in 10th place might feel little insecure with the South African Louis Oosthuizen who won at Malaysia recently closing in.
The reigning PGA Champion Keegan Bradley of USA is ranked 20 just behind his fellow coutryman Bill Hass at 19 and Northern Irish player Graeme McDowell at 18.
Adam Scott of Australia is ranked 12 ahead of the South African Charl Schwartzel ranked 13th. Webb Simpson is comfortably placed at 14 with 15th ranked Matt Kuchar of USA been closed on by 16th ranked Jason Day of Australia. Dustin Johnson of USA is ranked 17th.
South African Branden Grace, meanwhile, rose to No. 66 from his previous perch at No. 89 after his win at the Volvo China Open. The European Tour Q-School graduate began the season ranked 271st, but won twice, in his native South Africa before adding a third triumph in China.
The following are the latest leading world golf rankings on Monday as Rory McIlroy retained top spot ahead of Luke Donald and Lee Westwood, who defended his title in Indonesia:
1. Rory McIlroy, North Ireland, 9.46 points
2. Luke Donald, England, 9.31
3. Lee Westwood, England, 8.40
4. Bubba Watson, United States, 6.40
5. Hunter Mahan, United States, 5.76
6. Martin Kaymer, Germany, 5.46
7. Steve Stricker, United States, 5.44
8. Tiger Woods, United States, 5.42
9. Phil Mickelson, United States, 5.25
10. Justin Rose, England, 5.13
11. Louis Oosthuizen, South Africa, 5.06
12. Adam Scott, Australia, 5.04
13. Charl Schwartzel, South Africa, 5.03
14. Webb Simpson, United States, 4.88
15. Matt Kuchar, United States, 4.82
16. Jason Day, Australia, 4.81
17. Dustin Johnson, United States, 4.75
18. Graeme McDowell, North Ireland, 4.70
19. Bill Haas, United States, 4.41
20. Keegan Bradley, United States, 4.25
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