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Spieth moves to 11th rankings, Woods returns this week

American Jordan Spieth’s victory Down Under at the Emirates Australian Open moved him up just three places to No. 11 in the world rankings.

The Top 10 in the Official World Golf Ranking remained largely unchanged last week led by Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson and Adam Scott. Jim Furyk moved into No. 5 slot flipping places with Justin Rose, who slipped to 6th. Both were idle last week, but Rory and Scott competed in Australia.

Spieth heads to Florida this week for the Hero World Challenge in Florida. Six of the world’s Top 11 players — including Stenson, Bubba Watson, Rose, Jason Day and Matt Kuchar — are in the field along with tournament-host Tiger Woods.

The European Tour returns this week for the 2015 season at the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa. Several members of the Team Europe Ryder Cup squad are playing including Martin Kaymer. Thomas Bjorn, sitting at 33rd in the world rankings, returns to defend his title from last year’s inaugural Nedbank.

The field includes many champions from the 2014 season including Lee Westwood, Shane Lowry, Marcel Siem and Alexander Levy. PGA Tour regulars Tim Clark and Jonas Blixt are also competing. Among the headlines this week include former major champions Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen.

Other Golf news:

  • The world awaits the return of Woods to competitive golf this week at the Hero World Challenge. Woods, who ended 2013 ranked No. 1, is currently 24th. He has been out of action for much of the season recovering from back surgery. The 18-player field takes place Dec. 4-7 in Windermere, Florida at Isleworth Golf and Country Club.
  • Gary Player Country Club hosts the Nedbank Golf Challenge this week in Sun City, South Africa. The Par-72 layout reaches to more than 7,100 yards.
  • Several Americans are making the trip to compete in the Nedbank including Brooks Koepka, winner of the Turkish Airlines Open in the Race to Dubai Final Series last month, and PGA Tour champions Kevin Na and Brendon Todd. Na sits 27th in the world rankings.