Henrik Stenson’s victory in last weekend’s Dubai Desert Classic has lifted the 30 year-old Swede into the world’s top ten for the first time in his career. The ranking points on offer for the European Tour’s biggest event of the season so far were boosted by the presence of so many of the world’s top players, and Stenson’s victory over the likes of Ernie Els and Tiger Woods was enough to see him rise from 14th to 10th in the Official Golf World Rankings.

It is a far cry from the dark days of 2002 for Stenson, when a run of poor form saw him drop out of the world’s top 200 and left him on the verge of quitting the game. Now the man who holed the winning putt for Europe in the 2006 Ryder Cup will have his sights set on moving up the rankings even further and winning a first Major championship.

Elsewhere, Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke dropped out of the world’s top 50 for the first time in over ten years after finishing in a tie for 20th place in Dubai. Clarke will be hoping that his exit from the top 50 will be a short one and is gradually rebuilding his game and his life following his wife’s death from breast cancer last summer.

In the USA, Phil Mickelson’s run of indifferent form continued. The Masters champion missed the cut at the FBR Open in Arizona and has fallen three places to number six in the world rankings, while the winner of the event, Australia’s Aaron Baddeley, climbs up to 44th position.


Top Ten Players

1. T Woods (USA) 20.01 pts
2. J Furyk (USA) 8.57 pts
3. A Scott (Aus) 7.31 pts
4. E Els (RSA) 6.63 pts
5. R Goosen (RSA) 6.05 pts
6. P Mickelson (USA) 5.99 pts
7. V Singh (Fij) 5.67 pts
8. L Donald (Eng) 5.53 pts
9. P Harrington (Ire) 5.31 pts
10. H Stenson (Swe) 5.29 pts

Other Leading Europeans

12. S Garcia (Spa) 4.63 pts
14. P Casey (Eng) 4.39 pts
15. D Howell (Eng) 3.56 pts
19. C Montgomerie (Sco) 3.29 pts
22. J M Olazabal (Spa) 3.03 pts
26. R Karlsson (Swe) 2.86 pts
28. I Poulter (Eng) 2.85 pts
36. J Rose (Eng) 2.56 pts