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Zach cracks Top 10, Ko reaches No. 4 in Rolex

Zach Johnson’s comeback victory against Tiger Woods at the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge in California helped the Iowa native crack the Top 10 in the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time.

Johnson, who outlasted Woods in dramatic fashion winning in a playoff, moved from 16th to 9th in the latest ranking. His hot, late-season play ramped up by winning the BMW Championship in the FedEx Cup Playoffs in September and continued with a solid effort in helping America win the Presidents Cup.

He moved Aussie Jason Day out of the Top 10. The rest of the Top 10 remained basically unchanged with Woods on top followed by Adam Scott and Henrik Stenson. Justin Rose switched places with Phil Mickelson into the No. 4 slot. Mickelson rounded out the Top 5.

Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn moved up nine places to 25th in the rankings with his victory at the Nedbank Challenge.

Lydia Ko’s victory at the Swinging Skirts World Ladies Masters in Taiwan moved the 16 year old to No. 4 in the latest Rolex Rankings behind Inbee Park, Suzann Pettersen and Stacy Lewis.

Other Golf News:

  • Johnson finished 2012 at No. 25 in the world rankings. 
  • Pairs of professionals team up this week in southwestern Florida at the Franklin Templeton Shootout — also known as the Shark Shootout. The all-England team Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood is among the headliners and favorites. The all-Canadian squad of Graham DeLaet and Mike Weir are also competing. Matt Kuchar, teamed with Harris English, is the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 7.
  • It has been a difficult year for former major champion Padraig Harrington, who ended 2012 59th in the rankings. He is now ranked No. 123.
  • The European Tour hosts the Nelson Mandela Championship in South Africa this week. Branden Grace, 49th in the world, is one of the headliners and betting favorites at 16-to-1 odds according to Skybet.com.