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Rory heads to Florida Swing, Bubba climbs to No. 2

Rory McIlroy continues to sit atop the Official World Golf Ranking heading into his 2015 PGA Tour debut this week at The Honda Classic for the start of the Florida Swing.

McIlroy, who has a victory and a runner-up finish already on the European Tour this year, enters as the top-pick this week at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. At www.skybet.com, Rory is listed as a 3 1/2-to-1 betting favorite against the strongest field of the season.

With the Masters looming in April, plenty of firepower heads to Florida to prep including Bubba Watson, who moved up to No. 2 in the world rankings — his career best. He bumped Henrik Stenson to third followed by Jason Day, a winner at Torrey Pines earlier this month, and former No. 1 Adam Scott.

Sergio Garcia’s late collapse at Riviera last week ended in a T-4 finish. He moved up a spot to sixth in the rankings followed by Jim Furyk, Justin Rose, Jordan Spieth and Martin Kaymer.

Anirban Lahiri, who won on the European Tour for the second time in three weeks, moved to 34th in the rankings. He also earned a spot in the Masters as a European Tour rookie.

Other Golf News:

  • The PGA of America is expected to announce Davis Love III as the U.S. Ryder Cup captain for the 2016 matches. The U.S. and Europe meet at Hazeltine for the next edition. Darren Clarke was announced as the Europe captain last week.
  • The European Tour moves to its African Swing this week for the Joburg Open in South Africa. George Coetzee is the overall betting favorite at 10-1 odds. Clarke, the newly minted European Ryder Cup captain, is also competing.
  • Lydia Ko remains No. 1 on the Rolex Ranking after her victory at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open. Inbee Park is second followed by Stacy Lewis, Shanshan Feng and Michelle Wie. Suzann Pettersen, who has a run of 403 straight weeks in the Rolex Top 10, has slipped to 6th. All, except for Ko, will be in action this week at the LPGA Tour’s Honda LPGA Thailand.
  • Tiger Woods, who is out indefinitely but could return at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando in a few weeks, has slipped to 70th in the world rankings.